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.


Cowes, Isle of Wight, England

Ludde Ingvall’s CQS picked up the prestigious Queen’s Cup at the end of the Triple Crown series in Lendy Cowes Week. The 120 year old gold trophy was presented by the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, for the maxi racer class in the event.

The skipper was thrilled to receive the trophy at the Royal Yacht Squadron, “We’ve been coming here for many, many years and have always suggested Lendy Cowes Week should create racing suitable for deep draught boats,” said Ingvall. “We shipped the boat from Australia to be here, and this event – the world’s premier regatta – has been fantastic.”

The heavy weather series has proven to be a great warm up event for the Rolex Fastnet race, which starts on Sunday 6th August off Cowes.

Ludde Ingvall is a previous line honours winner of the Rolex Fastnet race, but hasn’t contested the ocean racing classic for a few years, and will face stiff opposition from some of the other maxis and super maxis.

Sir Michael Hintze, the chief executive of CQS, who was onboard the boat for Wednesday’s challenging race around the Isle of Wight, will also be on the crew for the Rolex Fastnet race.

After receiving the Queen’s Cup with Ludde, Sir Michael commented, “wow, what a trophy, there really is a lot of history in this cup, not a bad start.”

The CQS team will have a final shakedown sail on the Solent on Saturday in their preparations for the Rolex Fastnet race.


Cowes, Isle of Wight: 5th August 2017

Australian skipper Ludde Ingvall has selected his crew to sail CQS in the Rolex Fastnet race, which starts from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, on Sunday 6thAugust.

The team on CQS will be 22 strong, and deep in ocean racing experience and talent for the 650 nautical mile dash from Cowes, down the English Channel, around the Fastnet Rock off the south west of Ireland, and back to finish in Plymouth.

Leading the helming team will be New Zealand legend Chris Dickson, the winner of many world championships, and skipper of America’s Cup challenges and round the world races.

Alongside him is watch-leeder Rodney Keenan, who designed the rig and sails for the boat, and has extensive round the world sailing experience. Also very long on offshore experience is Sweden’s Ola Astradsson, who has sailed many thousands of miles with Ludde.

Half the multi national crew are New Zealanders, with British adding four more to the total. There are three Americans, including the only female, Genny Tulloch, two Australians a Swede and an Irishman.

For sponsor Sir Michael Hintze, CEO of CQS, this will be his first Rolex Fastnet race, though he has previously done the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

Weather forecast for the race would indicate that the fleet will have a hard slog to windward to get to the Fastnet Rock, but it could be a fast ride back to Plymouth.



Ludde Ingvall AUS

Sir Michael Hintze UK

Rodney Keenan NZL

Chris Dickson NZL

Tony Long NZL

Brian Clarke NZL/UK

Malcolm Paine NZL

Philip Maxwell NZL

James Gale NZL

Alan Turner NZL

David Wood NZL

Ant Crossan NZL

Michael Beasley NZL

Charlie Egerton-Warburton UK

Michael Rummel UK

James Oxenham UK

Dirk Kruger USA

Scott Stearns USA

Genevieve Tulloch USA

David Ward AUS

James Espey IRL

Ola Astradsson SWE

Recapping Day 2 of the Cowes Triple Crown Series 

Cowes, Isle of Wight, England: 2nd August 2017

Gust of 35 knots and big seas challenged Ludde Ingvall and his CQS crew in their race around the Isle of Wight today, as the opportunity to break the record for the course seemed so achievable, but then slipped from their grasp.

Under a steel grey sky, CQS blasted off from the Royal Yacht Squadron starting line at 09:45 this morning on an anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the island, a 50 nautical mile dash.

Taking slightly less than an hour to reach the famous landmark of the Needles at the western end of the island, a record time look eminently possible, with calculations predicting a time of up to 15 minutes less than the existing record of 3 hours, 20 minutes and 9 seconds.

Once around this jagged corner of the island conditions worsened considerably, “there was a lot more breeze than we had expected,” explained Ludde, “and we ended up in the Needles washing machine, where the tide meets big waves and it’s shallow, and it got incredibly bumpy for us.”

He believes that while in these tumultuous seas some damage occurred as soon after, one of their jibs started to unfurl, and flogged itself to shreds. The team then had to slow the boat while they retrieved the sail and the chances of a record blew away with the tattered sail.

They eventually finish the race 27 minutes outside the record, “but at least we got around, which is good, but the crew have a fair bit of work to fix things for the Rolex Fastnet race.”

Going on to talk about the Rolex Fastnet race, he said, “it looks a lot lighter now than we had been expecting, and if it’s light to start with we’ll be looking pretty good. Then if the wind builds we should be in a good position.”

Conditions for the final of the Triple Crown series tomorrow are looking even more extreme, with gusts of 40 knots expected.


Cowes, Isle of Wight, England: 1st August 2017.

Day One of Competition for CQS at Lendy Cowes Week

Day One of Competition for CQS at Lendy Cowes Week

“That’s a gorgeous looking boat”, was the comment as Ludde Ingvall and his team on CQS blasted across the finishing line off the fabled Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on England’s Isle of Wight.

It is pretty hard to impress the regular crowd at Lendy Cowes Week, one of the most famous sailing regattas in the world, but CQS was turning heads today.

Those taking lunch on the Royal London Yacht Club balcony paused over their crab salads and chardonnay and the conversation hushed as the eye-catching boats swept into view at the end of her race, charging through the cluster of smaller boats at approaching 20 knots.

CQS is taking part in the Triple Crown trophy, a three race series within Lendy Cowes Week, as part of the team’s training and preparations for the Rolex Fastnet race, which starts from Cowes on Sunday 6th August.

Course Map from first race in the Triple Crown trophy

Course Map from first race in the Triple Crown trophy

Sailing with the team this week, and providing valuable local knowledge in the ever tricky Solent waters, is local legend Harold Cudmore, who was one of Ludde’s mentors early in his professional sailing career.

“Harold was one of my heroes when I started, he always encouraged me,” said Ludde, “it’s great to be able to have him on board this week.

Conditions on the Solent were sparkling today, with a fresh breeze in the 15 to 20 knot range from the south west and bright sunshine, which enabled the CQS team to stretch their legs and get the boat close her potential.

The course for the day took them west out of the Solent, past the famous Needles which mark the western end of the Isle of Wight, then back to finish off the Cowes Parade.


Cowes, Isle of Wight, England: 29th July 2017

Super maxi CQS is back in the water and ready for the Rolex Fastnet Race after a week of maintenance and upgrades in Gosport, on the south coast of England. After sailing to and from the Baltic Sea, and contesting events in Finland and Sweden, owner Ludde Ingvall said the boat needed to be thoroughly checked over before taking on the rigours of the Fastnet Race.

“The team have put in a hard week of work, checking her from the top of the mast to the bottom of the keel,” commented Ludde, “and we have done some upgrades, including a new rudder. We’re looking for slight improvement to the balance of the boat with the upgraded rudder.”

“We are still learning about this boat,” he said about the ground breaking super maxi, “we believe we are approaching 90% of her potential, and are working continuously to improve the boat and the way we sail her.”

The CQS crew will be putting in a full day of training in the Solent off Gosport on Sunday and then sailing in the Triple Crown Series in Lendy Cowes Week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This is all part of their training for the Rolex Fastnet race, which starts from Cowes on Sunday 6th August.

The Triple Crown is a three race series within Lendy Cowes Week, specially created for the super maxis that are too big to sail safely in the regular Cowes Week races. The boats will be sailing for a trophy donated by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

Ludde Ingvall has previously taken line honours inthe Rolex Fastnet race, and has sailed in Cowes Week many times before, but this is the first time that CQS has contested these events.


Gosport, England: 13th July 2017

After a successful sojourn in the Baltic, Ludde Ingvall’s eye catching super maxi CQS is back in Gosport on the south coast of England, preparing for Lendy Cowes Week and the Rolex Fastnet race.

During her brief tour of the Baltic Sea, CQS took line honours in the Alandia Suursaari Race out of Helsinki, and the AF Offshore Race out of Stockholm, around Gotland Island, in which she also set a new course record.

Commenting on the visit to Scandinavian waters Ludde said, “it was good to break the record, but it was a close call, the wind went light and we nearly didn’t make it, we would like to have broken in by a bigger margin.”

Now with the boat back in England preparations are starting for the Triple Crown series during Lendy Cowes Week, and the challenging Rolex Fastnet race.

“We will be getting the boat out of the water and upgrading the rudder,” commented the skipper, “we are still learning about the boat, and the rudder upgrade will help the balance of the boat. We hope that by the time we start the Fastnet we will be up to 90% of the boat’s potential.”

CQS will contest the three race Triple Crown series on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Lendy Cowes Week, a special series of races for super maxis organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The Rolex Fastnet race starts on Sunday 6th August, and takes the fleet of over 390 boats from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, down the English Channel and around the Fastnet Rock of the south west coast of Ireland, then back to finish in Plymouth.

Post Race Wrap Up: ÅF Offshore Race, Stockholm SWEDEN

Sliding across the finishing line at speed, with the whole crew perched on the rail to take line honours and set a new record, they made it look easy. The truth is, that it was a nail-biting race from start to finish, with no certainties until they finished, then the back slapping and hugs could be liberally handed out.

The task looked daunting from way before the start, with light winds and unsettled conditions forecast. Then there was the not insignificant hurdle that they were in the last group with a start at 13:10. This meant that in the early part of the race, while still within the restricting confines of Stockholm harbour and the channels through the adjacent archipelago, they were fighting their way through, and often having to avoid the other 250 odd smaller boats in the fleet.

“The race started predictably, with a lot of dodging and weaving though the massive fleet and the odd spectator boat,” was the comment from those onboard, but once out into the open stretches of the Baltic Sea CQS stretched her legs and left the mob behind. By the time they reached the first waypoint, a lighthouse just outside the archipelago, Ludde and his team had worked out a five nautical mile advantage over their nearest rival, the 100 foot Hyundai.

Then came the next obstacle; thick fog settled in and the wind dropped to just 8 knots, but the team managed to coax a little more boat speed than this out of CQS. Then came the rain, “30 nm to Gotland, and it is sheeting down in the Swedish twilight,” came the report.

Three and a half hours later at 03:16, having dodged a few rocks in their path, the on-board commentary told us, “we are on our way down the eastern side of Gotland island in lumpy seas and a 17kt breeze,” their boat speed was 11 knots.

The team managed to keep their speed up around 11 knots all the way to the southern tip of Gotland Island, where they arrived at 10:30, and then conditions got tougher. Coming out from the lee of the island they were hit with 25 knots of westerly wind as they turned towards the finish.

A mere one and a half hours later Ludde and the CQS team were passing the town of Visby on the western side of the island. “The crew are focussed as they pass the town of Visby, Almagrundet lighthouse next and then the home straight,” came the news from onboard. “Is the record on? No time to think about it for now as the crew gybe their way up the remains of the Gotland coast with the grey translucent A1 looking magnificent in the afternoon sun. 

“Stay tuned; we're giving it everything.”

Through sail change after sail change, they worked flat out to keep the boat speed up as they headed north towards the finishing line. The figures looked good and the record was achievable, then at around 19:15 the update from out on the race track said, “wind conditions have dropped through the Swedish doldrums, with approximately 12 nautical miles of race track left and about 1.5 hours to do it in to capture the record!” The tension was building both on board and ashore.

Someone must have paid suitable homage to Huey the wind god, because he sent an early evening breeze to propel them towards the finishing line, or was it the magic touch of Ludde’s long time friend Ola Anstradsson, who was handed the helm as they approached the line. Ola was being honoured for “his logistical expertise, his pit work and watch captain brilliance, and his cooking heroics.”

Suffice it to say that CQS’s arrow like bow sliced through the finishing line at 20:51:35, some 27 minutes and 48 seconds inside the old record, which was also held by Ludde Ingvall that time in Nicorette.


The Race Crew: 

Ludde Ingvall

Chris Dickson

Rodney Keenan

Magnus Woxen

Tony Long

Ola Astradsson

Malcolm Paine

Greg Prescott

Fredde Nylof

Alan Turner

Martin Krite

Jonas Wachenhut

Phil Maxwell

Siggi Mansaker

Thomas Oskmo

Jonas Elzvik

Per Jonsson

James Espay

Charlie Egerton-Warburton

Paul Heyrman

Christer Nyberg

Oskar Kihlborg


Stockholm, Sweden: 3rd July 2017

Ludde Ingvall and his all star team on the super maxi CQS have written a new page in the record books, setting a new fastest average speed for the AF Offshore Race, around Gotland Island.

CQS finished the race at 20:51:35 (local time) to beat the record previously held by Ludde in Nicorette. In order to create a new record Ludde and his team had to cross the finishing line by21:19:25, and they did it with 27 minutes, 48 seconds to spare.

It had been touch and go all around the 350 nautical mile race track, with conditions and wind strength constantly changing, with the record looking easily achievable at times, and way beyond reach at others.

The team on CQS worked relentlessly to get the maximum out of the boat, reporting during the race, “the spinnaker staysail has just gone up, the CQS crew have now flown all bar the trisail during this race and some several times, 9 in total.”

Ludde and his crew finished 3 hours, 31 minutes, 25 seconds ahead of second placed Hyundai, another 100 foot super maxi, to achieve the line honours/record double.

As they approached the finishing line, Ludde handed the helm to his long time friend Ola Anstradsson “recognition of his logistical expertise, his pit work and watch captain brilliance and his cooking heroics.”

Once ashore the skipper commented, “I am super happy. The wind died, and we were stuck out at Alma for an hour and thought that we shouldn’t make it. But we were lucky and we could cross the finish line with twenty minutes to go,”

The race started in Stockholm on Sunday, with the course taking the fleet of more than 250 boats, down the eastern side of Gotland, back up the western side, and finishing in Sandhamn.

YACHTS AND YACHTING: New speed record around Gotland for CQS in the ÅF Offshore Race

The 100-foot maxi CQS sets a new ÅF Offshore Race record © Camilla Bolinder

The 100-foot maxi CQS sets a new ÅF Offshore Race record © Camilla Bolinder

Ludde Ingvall with crew on the 100-footer CQS made a new speed record in ÅR Offshore Race - round Gotland, when entering the port at Sandhamn Monday evening. Twenty years since he last broke the record he did it again.

CQS crossed the finish line as the first boat, but it will take another 24 hours or so before the winner of ÅF Offshore Race – around Gotland 2017, at recalculated time, can be named.

Luddes deadline to beat the record was at 21:19:23, but he crossed the finish line already at 20:51:35. He got the line honour in superior style, and also the speed record for monohulls. The record for multihull is held by the Swedish trimaran HiQ.

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