The supermaxi yacht CQS - formerly known as Nicorette - has been relaunched after a year-long rebuild at Tauranga's Southern Ocean Boats.

The yacht, owned by leading Finnish racing sailor Ludde Ingvall, was launched on the weekend and is now back in Auckland. It was expected to compete in the Round White Island Race starting in Auckland on November 25, and is also expected to sail in the next Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Originally 90ft (27.4m), the hull has been stretched to 98ft (29.8m) and fitted with several new features including a reverse bow, an outsized bowsprit, and "wings" to spread the shroud base supporting the mast.

CQS also features Dynamic Stability System foils similar to those used by several of the entries in the current Vendee Globe around the world race. As well as lifting the hull and reducing drag, the foils also produce righting moment for the supermaxi.


Southern Ocean Boats is run by directors and master shipwrights Greg Prescott and Greg McNabb, and has worked on a number of racing yacht projects. Mr McNabb said the yacht contained a number of new and experimental upgrades.

"It's been a very interesting and challenging project, and our team here has worked extremely hard on this one," Mr McNabb told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"It's thanks to them we managed to get her to the water and on her way."

The yacht is owned by Ingvall, a two-time line honours winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, in 2000 and 2004, a world maxi yacht champion, and a round-the-world racer.

The rebuild was completed with assistance from Sir Michael Hintze who founded the London-based hedge fund company CQS, now the naming sponsor of the yacht.

Sailing World magazine described the modifications as major and designed to push the limits of technology. Mr Ludde told Sailing World the completion of the rebuild was the start of an 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," he said.

-Originally built: 2004

-Designed by: Simonis Voogd Naval Architect and Yacht Design Studio

-Redesign project: led by New Zealand naval architect Brett Bakewell-White Engineering team: includes Andrew Baglin of Multiphase design, Mark Bishop of Waterfront Composite Solutions, Rodney Keenan of Evolution Sails and Hall Spars' Dave Ridley.