The Sydney-based supermaxi CQS has set a new record for monohulls, but missed the open (including multihulls) record by less than an hour, in the 320nm White Island Race.
The race was a Rolex Sydney Hobart qualifier for the supermaxi, and was also the first race for the former Nicorette after a year-long redesign and rebuilt project, following a redesign project by Bakewell-White Yacht Design and a build undertaken by Tauranga’s Southern Ocean Boats. The rig package was undertaken by Hall Spars (NZ) and sailed by Evolution.
The race was not ideal for record-breaking with a 30nm beat to Cape Colville at the entrance to the Hauraki Gulf, before turning to head for White Island, a volcanically active island in the southern end of Bay of Plenty. The winds increased from the east before changing to a westerly – making a beat from Cape Colville back to Auckland.
After the race start just after 10.00am on Friday, CQS reported she was about to round White Island around 6.30pm having taken 8hrs 30 minutes for the 160nm leg or an average speed of around 19kts.
A wind change for the return leg slowed the supermaxi, taking almost 20hrs for the return lap.
The race record for one of the premier offshore races on the Royal Akarana YC’s calendar is held by the ORMA60 trimaran TeamVodafoneSailing (now Frank Racing, originally Geant) at 27hrs 7m 58sec – CQS missed the all-comers record by just 52 minutes.
CQS elected to race without her DSS foils and just used her canting keel and daggerboard for the White Island Race. Watch captains for the race and also the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart were Chris Dickson, Chris Main and Rodney Keenan.
She is due to leave for Sydney on Tuesday.
The next boat Awen, the former Open 60 Ecover (Mike Golding) finished approximately 6hrs 30 minutes after CQS around 8.30pm on Saturday evening.
Racing details and progress reports can be found on the Royal Akarana YC website click here
by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZ