No announcement yet.

Tulikettu Proves To Be A Survivalist


  • Tulikettu Proves To Be A Survivalist

    Abandoned Infiniti 52 found off Portuguese coast

    Tulikettu, deemed lost at sea in April, has been found and safely returned to shore.

    The first Infiniti 52 Tulikettu, designed by Hugh Welbourn, was sailing from Cascais, Portugal, back to the team base in Gosport, England across the Bay of Biscay.

    She was sailing with her foil fully retracted when the hull struck an unidentified floating object on Monday, April 18. There was an uncontrolled leak in the boat, the cause of which was unknown. The crew triggered the EPIRB emergency transmitter on Wednesday, April 20, after midnight. The four-person crew worked diligently to stop the inflow of water. Two of the crew were also experienced boatbuilders.

    After 10 hours, and within arrival of the rescue ship they were able to make some temporary repairs to ensure the vessel would not sink. The team was approximately 300 nautical miles offshore, very likely beyond the range of helicopter rescue. When the rescue ship was on approach, there was a lot of water in the boat. Not knowing whether the last repairs would work, the person in charge had two choices; to wait and see if the repairs worked, or to abandon the boat.

    The weather conditions were worsening, with high waves. The difficult decision was made to evacuate onto the oil tanker, ensuring the safety of the crew onboard as the logistics company had ordered the tanker to leave the area as soon as possible due to worsening sea state. No one was injured in the accident. The search for Tulikettu was stopped on Saturday, April 30.

    Tulikettu was abandoned off the coast of Portugal. The boat was to take part in the world’s largest offshore sailing competitions. It was unknown whether the crew’s efforts worked. A new sighting of the boat was obtained on Monday, May 23rd. The boat was spotted by passing yacht and the crew reached out to the Tulikettu social media channel via private message. When the tip proved to be reliable, the rescue operation was immediately restarted.

    “It was an incredible feeling when we found the boat six and a half weeks after it disappeared,” said Arto Linnervuo, skipper and owner of Tulikettu Racing Team on Sunday in Portim?o, Portugal. “Here I am, standing on the deck of the boat.”

    After dozens of flight hours, countless drift calculations, and hundreds of nautical miles of searching by salvage boats, Tulikettu was found on Saturday, June 4, approximately 100 nautical miles west of Cape Saint Vincent, the southern tip between Lisbon and Gibraltar. The yacht was towed to the port of Portim?o on Sunday, June 5 where she will undergo a thorough inspection and assessment of damage sustained.

    “The story had a happy ending after all. Saturday was one of the happiest days of my life. There was an incredible rescue operation supporting this effort, which involved more than a dozen top professionals from Finland, England, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. I am especially proud that the rescue operation was led by my own Tulikettu Racing team flown in to assist on the spot,” says Linnervuo, who was on board the spotter plane.

    Linnervuo made the final sighting that led to the ultimate rescue of the boat. He transmitted the position from the plane to the tugboat at sea using a VHF radio. Locating and rescuing a black boat without transmission signals, that had travelled east to within 100 nautical miles off the coast, was a very difficult task. The rescue vessel had to be close to the latest sighting to ensure a safe recovery, because Tulikettu was drifting very unpredictably while unattended.

    “On Saturday, both of these things were successful,” Linnervuo says.

    There were four key people in charge of the rescue project: Linnervuo led the rescue operation with Will Jackson, Tulikettu Racing Director of Operations. Kim Westman, Tulikettu Racing Chief Safety Officer, was responsible for rescue communications, such as naval rescue, air rescue and official assistance from the Portuguese Air Force. Martin Gahmberg, a meteorologist from the Finnish Sailing National Team, helped the Tulikettu Racing team assess the direction and pace of Tulikettu’s drift at sea.

    “I felt like I was climbing a mountain I would definitely like to conquer, but whenever I thought I had reached the summit, I saw the mountain rise before me, and the path to the top became more challenging,” Linnervuo said.

    After refurbishment and repair, Tulikettu is expected to resume her ambitious racing schedule.

    “Externally, the boat showed no damage, and the mast was upright. It shows how well these boats are designed and built. The extent of the damage will become clear in time,” says Linnervuo.

    Gordon Kay, Founder of Infiniti Yachts was onboard for the rescue tow. “We are delighted to have been instrumental in restoring Tulikettu to the team. We look forward to seeing her on the racecourse before long. It’s a testament to her design and construction that she has come through this with such aplomb.”

    The goal of the Finnish project is to win one of the largest offshore races in the world. In addition, Linnervuo’s goal is to win the overall Class Championship for the Royal Ocean Racing Club offshore sailing series (RORC) in 2022 or 2023.

    “The feeling was incredibly wonderful when we first sailed Tulikettu with her foil. Fortunately, it was not the last time. We will be able to experience it again and conquer the world’s largest offshore races with our beloved original Tulikettu,” says Linnervuo. Building a new replacement boat would have taken at least one year. The successful recovery of Tulikettu will allow the team to resume racing operations faster. Tulikettu, is the first Infiniti 52 yacht, built by Composite Builders in Holland, Michigan.

    By Xtra St?rk Ocean Racing Society

    Abandoned Infiniti 52 found off Portuguese coast - Mysailing
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • Crash Course At Cowes
      by Photoboy
      Short, action-packed races on the final day of Cowes Week 2022

      The last day of Cowes Week featured short, action-packed races in a solid north-westerly gradient wind, culminating in a spectacularly busy finish line at the Royal Yacht Squadron. A risk of the wind dying in advance of an afternoon sea breeze prompted a change to the race schedule, with three committee boats used, in addition to the Royal Yacht Squadron line, to compress
      Yesterday, 09:46 AM
    • Sir Schwenky Dank Rescued In Dramatic Fashion
      by Photoboy
      Pacific Cup Skipper Safely Evacuated on Return Voyage
      August 8, 2022

      Pacific Cup race organizers are happy to report that Andy Schwenk (57, Point Richmond, CA) has been brought safely to land by a combination of Coast Guard, Air Force, commercial shipping, and assistance from a fellow yacht. A rapidly-spreading infection required the action.

      Andy’s Spindrift V, an Express 37, had completed the 2022 Pacific Cup, finishing first in her class on July 18.
      08-08-2022, 09:08 AM
    • All Wrapped Up At Copa Del Rey Mapfre
      by Photoboy

      Marcus Brennecke’s ClubSwan 50 Hatari clinched the ClubSwan 50 class title on the final race at the 40th Copa del Rey MAPFRE but the German flagged crew endured some unnecessarily nervous moments after the nearest rivals Stefan Heidenreich’s OneGroup seemingly came back from the dead after being over the start line early.

      From being a long way ahead of OneGroup, Hatari found themselves needing to cover their
      08-06-2022, 09:43 AM
    • French Sailor Survives Overnight In A Capsized Class 40
      by Photoboy
      Against all odds, a French sailor in his 60s survived inside of a capsized sailing yacht off the coast of Galicia, Spain overnight Monday, breathing from an air pocket until Spanish rescue divers reached him the following afternoon.

      At about 2000 hours on Monday, the Class40 sailing yacht Jeanne Solo Sailor capsized at a position about 14 miles northwest of the Sisargas Islands, west of A Coruna. The sole occupant, 62-year-old French national Laurent Camprubi, told
      08-04-2022, 10:40 AM
    • A Misty End To July For Bonita Racers!
      by Photoboy
      Rounding out the end of July on the YRA calendar, the Encinal or Bonita race was held over the past weekend.
      a 22 nm jaunt from off of Treasure Island and out the gat to Point Bonita and then back to the Encinal Yacht Club in the Estuary

      A cool misty day with a 2.7 knot flood and varying moments of visibility, sometimes completely occluded in the Golden Gate Strait, and
      moments of 1 mile or so, dashed with drizzle, loud fog horns and large vessels and fishing boats transiting
      08-03-2022, 03:29 PM
    • Pinned In Queens
      by Photoboy

      The FDNY freed a sailboat that had gotten stuck under the Roosevelt Island bridge on Saturday morning, officials said.

      A man was rescued by FDNY Marine units after the vessel’s mast got wedged in the steel work on the bridge at about 7:15 a.m., a spokesperson told The Post.

      In coordination with Department of Transportation bridge operators the boat was freed “with minimal damage,” according to FDNY.

      08-01-2022, 09:37 AM