First Race to be Cervantes Trophy Race in England on 30 April 2022
Tulikettu Racing, the Finnish newcomer to the international offshore racing scene will compete in its first RORC Race, the Cervantes Trophy Race, a Channel race from Cowes, England to Le Havre, France on 30 April 2022. The Team had planned to showcase its new Infiniti 52 in the RORC Transatlantic Race and Rolex Caribbean 600 Race, but fit out delays and the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant pushed the opening race to April. The yacht will complete sea trials in the coming weeks in England, followed by a training run through the harsher conditions of the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean on its way to the Mediterranean for corporate sponsor obligations in early 2022.
“In the end, there was a lot more to do with the last bits of the fit out than we expected after the christening and launch at the end of October. Unfortunately, the rapidly deteriorating COVID-19 situation delayed everything further, creating uncertainty around our plans for the first half of the year. The solution that best served the entire project was to revise our racing schedule. This has given us a lot of time to enhance some features of the yacht that we had planned to implement at the end of the 2022 season. Our team had some great ideas, and we are excited that were able to implement them earlier than expected.” says Tulikettu’s skipper Arto Linnervuo.
“We didn’t want to go to a race without time to really practice and test the new boat. If any problems arose, I wouldn’t want to find them in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Safety is paramount of course, but it is also important for us to know how the yacht performs in different conditions so that we can optimize boat speed before we go racing.”, Linnervuo continues.
Tulikettu has received a lot of international attention. After the Cervantes Trophy Race followed by the North Sea Race in late May, Tulikettu will head North to the Baltic Region to sail in the Gotland Runt, where Linnervuo skippered Xtra Stærk to the ORC overall title last year aboard his XP-44. The Team then heads to Finland for the start of the inaugural RORC Baltic Sea Race on 21 July, a 635-nautical mile event with a start and finish in Helsinki. The boat will make its way back to the UK to compete in the iconic quadrennial Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in the North Atlantic in early August, followed by the Rolex Middle Sea Race at the end of October held annually in Malta.
“Our energies are fully focused on testing and training. We want to be competitive from the start of the very first race and we amended the schedule to create momentum, moving from shorter to longer races in managed way.” Linnervuo says.
The goal of the Tulikettu project is to be the first Finnish team to win one of the world’s largest offshore races, as well as the RORC Season’s Points Championship. The updated race calendar will take Tulikettu to events in the North Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas in 2022, followed by both sides of the Atlantic in 2023, with events in Australia and Southeast Asia in 2024.