Beaten by the Weakest Link

Published on February 20th, 2018

Originally built in 2004 as a state of the art 90 foot racing boat, a significant rebuild of the yacht by late 2016 transformed her for Ludde Ingvall into a 100 foot high performance super maxi racing yacht.

In order to lengthen the hull a portion of the bow was removed with the radical look of the new forward sections further enhanced by a reverse bow and a long bowsprit. To support the much more powerful new rig, aerodynamic ‘wings’ were added as the shroud base needed to be widened.

To increase the stability and reduce displacement, a DSS aqua foil system was installed which uses a sliding board that runs across the boat from one side to the other, and protrudes from the hull just below the waterline. When the board is deployed to leeward it delivers lift and added stability.

Along with the boat’s canting keel and forward canard rudder, and completely overhauled rig and sails, the technical innovations that have been incorporated push the limits of present yacht design.

But with innovation comes complexity, and with complexity comes the increased risk of failure.

Ingvall and his team on the renamed 100-foot CQS felt this pinch and were forced to retire soon after the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 race due to a problem with the engine that runs the hydraulic systems on the boat.

“We found out fairly quickly that we had an electronic issue with the software,” explained Ludde. “On our boat the engine drives hydraulics, and hydraulics runs every winch, our canard, the DSS board, and the keel as well as propulsion.

“The problem we had was that four times the engine cut out in the middle of what we were doing and we didn’t understand why.”

With the nature of the Caribbean 600 having a course that goes close to a lot of islands, and through some restricted channels, Ludde’s main concern was safety as if the engine cut out during a critical maneuver lives could be at risk.

Always beware of the weakest link.

Getting underway on February 19, the RORC Caribbean 600 starts and finishes in Antigua with the 600 nm course carrying the fleet around 11 Caribbean islands.

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(Best best corrected time under IRC)

2017 – Hap Fauth, JV72, Bella Mente (USA)
2016 – George Sakellaris, Maxi 72, Proteus (USA)
2015 – Hap Fauth, JV72, Bella Mente (USA)
2014 – George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA)
2013 – Ron O’Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA)
2012 – Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán (GBR)
2011 – George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA)
2010 – Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)
2009 – Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL)

Source: CQS, Craig Leweck

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