With sailing legend Chris Dickson of New Zealand at the helm, CQS made a great start to the Rolex Fastnet Race at 12:40 BSTtoday off Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The boat was powered up and going fast when the gun fired at the Royal Yacht Squadron to start the class for the biggest boats in the race.

CQS is one of 32 boats in Class Zero, the last start of the day, so the team on the boat had to thread their way through the 336 smaller and slower boats that had started before them, and by late afternoon only had two boats in their class ahead of them.

Speaking from on board the boat when they were an hour west of Portland Bill, crew member Michael Rummel said, “we have 20 to 22 knots of breeze, and we’re making between 11 and 12 knots hard on the wind, the conditions are a bit stronger than we had hoped for, but the wind is due to drop around midnight.”

Portland Bill is one of the critical promontories on the south coast of England that creates a tide gate, and getting past it in favourable conditions is a huge advantage. CQS didn’t quite get there before the tide turned against them, but tacked away from the coast to minimize the adverse current.

Ludde Ingvall, the skipper, said he was happy that they got out of the restricted waters of the Solent without any incidents, and CQS was now able to stretch her legs and settle into making up time on the boats ahead.

As sun set on the first day of the race, CQS were making their way across Lyme Bay towards the second tide gate at Start Point.