Far to the North, above the Arctic Circle, a legendary creature runs across the fells painting the night sky as sparks fly from its tail. Powerful enough to create light amidst the darkest sky, and faster than the wind; it is cunning and sly, unable to be caught. Its name is Tulikettu.
Finnish offshore racing takes a notable new step with the creation of new foiling Infiniti 52R grand-prix racing yacht named Tulikettu. The goal set by the Tulikettu Racing team is to become the first ever Finnish sailing team in history to win one of the world’s most legendary offshore races organised by RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club).
“I’m extremely excited about this opportunity resulting from our partnership with Infiniti Yachts, the forerunner of foil driven sailing yachts. Infiniti Yachts is building the first ever production offshore racing monohull where the hull design is tailored to the DSS foil as supposed to choosing a foil to fit an existing hull design. Secondly, we have 4-time Volvo Ocean Race winner Stu Bannatyne coaching the Tulikettu Racing team on our new Infiniti 52R” says skipper Arto Linnervuo.
The naval architect of the Infiniti 52R is Britain’s Hugh Welbourn, a legend in the yachting industry and pioneer of the foiling sailing yacht. Other design team members come from various parts of the world. The manufacturer of the hull is Composite Builders in Michigan, U.S.A., a boat yard known for its top carbon fibre materials, skills and quality. The company is led by Brian McInnes, who is a true veteran in the sport with multiple America’s Cups and Volvo Ocean Races behind them. Mast, rudder, DSS-foil, keel, electronics, sails and other parts come from across the globe from countries including New Zealand and France. The final assembly and commissioning of this truly global yacht will take place in the UK in the summer of 2021 over seen by our long-time performance partner Racetec Rigging.
Tulikettu has adpoted the Doyle Sails Cableless and Structured Luff in its entirety. In the Grand Prix market, Doyle Sails’ has triggered a key change in design, delivering breakthrough technology. Doyle Sails innovative approach has not only provided a new generation of high-performance sails, but started a revolution that looks set to have a far greater knock-on effect into other areas of the market. So significant are the developments, that there are many reasons that the Structured Luff technology could transform how yachts are designed and built. At the heart of this development is changing the manner in which load in the luff of a sail is distributed and by reducing luff sag it allows the sail to achieve more driving force.
Tulikettu’s hull, mast and rigging are made of carbon fibre resulting in a target weight of less than 7000 kg, which is extremely light for a 52ft sailing yacht. Infiniti 52R is also the first yacht designed and engineered to maximize the competitive advantage of Doyle’s cableless sail technology. With only half the headstay loads of a typical modern 52ft racer, there is scope for dramatic weight saving in all of the hull and rig structures. The special feature of the boat will be the one-piece patented DSS (“Dynamic Stability System”) foil that slides through the hull of the boat from side to side.
“Infiniti 52R is the first monohull offshore racing boat, in which the foil and its benefits have been used as the starting point for the whole yacht design. The foil generates lift as it goes through the water. The result of which is lifting of the hull, reduced heel and most importantly increased righting moment. This allows the boat to be designed with a narrower beam thus reducing the weight of the yacht. By adding water ballast and powered winches further weight savings are made by reducing crew weight”
The boat will have nine crew members in the first race, and according to Infiniti Yachts, she is easy to handle and can also be sailed with a crew of six, which is special for a 52ft racing yacht. This is why the yacht has all the potential to not only revolutionize the future of offshore racing, but also cruising, as many of these features have already been successfully applied to building cruising yachts. Infiniti Yachts claims the 52R model will be a basis for a new racing class among the ever popular 52-feet racing yachts. It is also a matter of time until cruising sailors find foiling and create a demand for new generation cruising yachts with less heeling, better stability and much more speed such as Infiniti 52Cruiser which will have all the creature comforts with the addition of the DSS foil which can be pulled in for convenience and safety when coming in to a marina.
“There’s no need for a professional crew due to all these elements. Infiniti 52R is available and within the reach of amateur crews operating with a reasonable budget. Arto Linnervuo’s crew is the first crew in the world to sail with this exceptional, historical boat” says Gordon Kay, a founder of Infiniti Yachts responsible for the boat building process on behalf of Infiniti Yachts.
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