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Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017

by John Curnow on 28 Dec 2016
CQS - 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Rolex/Daniel Forster
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal tore a gaping hole in the race record, ripping almost five hours from Wild Oats 2012 record, by contrast Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent. CQS finished more than 12 hours after the line honours winner, at 16:13:12 on Wednesday and in seventh place.

But for Ingvall’s cousin, CQS founder and financier of the boat, Sir Michael Hintze, every minute was pure joy. “The start was breathtaking – even the bit where the hydraulics didn’t work and we nearly capsized in Sydney Harbour.”

“Then it was exciting sailing down the coast and frustrating sitting, not moving for hours on the river looking at the finish line,” he said of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race.

“It was exactly what I expected from the race, even Bass Strait. And yes, I would absolutely do it again,” Sir Michael added.

“It was great! For me it was the fulfilment of a childhood dream. The technology and engineering in the boat is fascinating, and we’re still learning about it.”

Abeam Sow and Pigs in Sydney Harbour, CQS had to crash tack, the motor powering the hydraulics stalled at the same time, and the boat almost lay down with the canting keel on the wrong side.

Then soon after, as CQS passed the seaward mark out of Sydney Harbour the tip broke off the DSS (Dynamic Stability System) foil, then the flaps (like ailerons on an aircraft wing) tore off and hence no control.

Ingvall, the 2000 and 2004 Sydney Hobart line honours winner said that in the brief time the system was intact, the boat had lifted and taken off. “We learnt a lot, and this is the race to learn a lot from. We still have a long way to go. We are sailing the boat directly to New Zealand now to do some work on her. We have already been talking to the designers and engineers, and then we will take it to the Mediterranean to race.”

So by December 2017, expect CQS to be back in Sydney, much more competitive and ready to take another tilt at the windmill.

Ultimately then if you are looking for smiles yourself, then do keep a weather eye here on for all the latest intel on the great, inspiring, captivating and very historic, blue water classic… The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

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