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Round the World racer rolls out Supermaxi conversion in Tauranga
Design graphic - Ludde Ingvall's Super Maxi 'CQS' © John Roberson

Supermaxi CQS ~ Round the World

Ludde Ingvall unveiled major modifications to his former 90 foot yacht when it emerged from the Southern Ocean’s shed in Tauranga, New Zealand today. The work has been undertaken with backing from Sir Michael Hintze.

Ingvall, a former round the world yachtsman, world champion and record holder, has taken over a year to transform the yacht, from a fairly conventional 90 footer to a striking 100 foot super maxi.

Ingvall is a two-time line honours winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, first in 2000 and again in 2004. The yacht has now been re-modelled and re-named CQS after its principal sponsor.

Working with a top technical team including yacht designers, engineers, yacht builders, rig designers and sail makers, they have produced a boat that pushes the boundaries of design technology.

The distinctive new hull shape features a reverse bow, an outsized bowsprit, ‘wings’ to spread the shroud base supporting the mast and a wide platform across the cockpit area.

The spars for the remodelled supermaxi are coming from Hall Spars & Rigging NZ.

Round the World racer rolls out Supermaxi conversion in Tauranga

Ludde Ingvall’s Super Maxi ‘CQS’ © John Roberson

Speaking as the hull emerged from its construction tent, Ludde commented ‘this is the start of a very exciting adventure. Computer modelling suggests the yacht has the potential to produce some impressive speeds, given the right conditions, but we will only know how she performs when she is in the water and as the race programme unfolds.’

Going on to praise the team that had worked on the project, he added ‘everyone has put in a fantastic effort and worked exceptionally long hours to get us to this stage. I am really grateful for all their work and skill in creating this innovative boat.

Sir Michael added that ‘this is a quest for innovation and performance. We would not be launching without the knowledge and experience of my cousin Ludde. It is a true team effort which I’m excited to be a part of. We have a strong team of designers, boat builders and sail makers and this gives us confidence, but we are mindful that the ocean will be our ultimate judge.’

Amongst the innovative features of this re-modelled yacht is a ‘Dynamic Stability System’ (DSS), comprising an underwater wing, which augments the righting forces of the keel, believed to be one of the largest and most technically advanced of its kind ever used.

Over the next few days a brand new high spec keel will be fitted, and the rig installed, before undergoing sea trials. A programme of international races has still to be confirmed, but the first competitive outing is expected to be the Round White Island Race starting from Auckland on 25th November.

The boat best known as the Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Nicorette has emerged from a cocoon in Tauranga, New Zealand, but it is unrecognisable as the 90 footer that went under wraps over a year ago. Now called CQS, Ludde Ingvall’s Simonis design, that was originally built in 2004, is now 100 feet long with a 4 metre bowsprit.

The boat now has wings, and more than one set of them. A team of New Zealand’s best engineers, designers and boat builders have transformed a tired and well used 2004 vintage ocean racer into a radical boat that will turn heads.

Led by prominent naval architect Brett Bakewell-White, the design and engineering team includes Andrew Baglin of Multiphase design, Mark Bishop of Waterfront Composite Solutions, Rodney Keenan of Evolution Sails and Hall Spars’ Dave Ridley.

The work has been carried out by Greg Prescott and Greg McNab’s team at Southern Ocean Marine.

The team have opted for the full canting keel and DSS configuration below the waterline, while above the waterline, there are a set of wings near the mast, to support a widened shroud base, and a large aircraft carrier like platform across the cockpit. All this has allowed the design team to retain the original boat’s slender hull form, while having the sheeting and shroud support advantages of a much wider boat.

Round the World racer rolls out Supermaxi conversion in Tauranga

Ludde Ingvall’s Super Maxi ‘CQS’ in Tauranga John Roberson ©

Brett Bakewell-White said of the original boat, ‘the boat looked like a DSS boat without a DSS board,’ so although sceptical about the system, he decided to try it, and has ended up creating a very sophisticated shaped board. With the canting keel out one side and the DSS board deployed on the other side, they form an inverted V, that will have a lifting effect as speed builds.

Although various foils and canting keel combinations are already being used by the IMOCA 60s, it is believed that this is the biggest boat to use this technology. This boat will also have a canard in front of the mast, in a rotating cassette. Unlike the IMOCAs, that are restricted, by their class rules, in the number of foils they can have, this team did not have that problem.

The extended length of the hull has all gone on in front of the mast, so that the rig is now 46% of the way back in the boat, which gives a very big fore-triangle. Add to this the 4 metre bowsprit, and you have scope for some huge reaching sails. Rodney Keenan, who has designed the rig, says that when creating the sail wardrobe they have treated it like a multi-hull.

The platform across the back of the boat will allow a much more efficient sheeting angle for all the headsails, and in particular the big reaching sails, so that they won’t be back winding the mainsail. The original mast has been used, but with bigger spreaders, to help take the added load.

Time is obviously short for tuning up and learning how to sail this boat before the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, it is hoped that they can go on to sail a number of offshore classics, including the Fastnet, Gotland Rund and perhaps a Trans-Atlantic.

by John Roberson

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