Mamma li turchi! Starting 71 Turkish gulets racing among Dodecanese islands

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Screenshot 2015-10-21 at 11:29:43 a.m.The Gulet is the iconic vessel for relaxing summers roaming the coasts of Turkey and those of Greece. Who would have thought that at the end of the season, when the tourists have all already departed for home, these giants of the sea would compete in an exciting coastal race? Also “battling it out” against its Turkish cousins is an Italian gulet: the Santa Lucia, which is racing under the Circolo Nautico Riva di Traiano pennant .The Santa Lucia is a 2006 “Bodrum Gulet” with a f.t. length of 26 meters. It has a total sail area of 273 square meters, with two steel masts with two tiers of spreaders, furling foresail genoa, mainsail and mizzen sail with lazy jack.

Screenshot 2015-10-21 at 11:31:30 a.m.

The Bodrum Cup, this is the name of the event, aims to promote interest in Bodrum’s charter fleets and to test the navigational skills of gulet skippers, who in their daily work safely sail these beautiful and comfortable vessels, the symbol of nautical tourism in Turkey. The Bodrum Cup has been organized since 1989 and is held, punctually, in the third week of October. A spectacular race between these giants of the sea that usually comfortably carry tourists. Seeing them lurching like racing boats with the Greek islands and Turkish coastline in the background is an unforgettable sight.

Screenshot 2015-10-21 at 11:48.18 a.m.The first leg of the regatta, from Bodrum to Gumusluk, predictably saw an absolute domination of Turkish gulets. Taking first place in both Gulette (classic gulets) and overall rankings was the 26-meter Large by Mehmet Nalbantoğlu, a gulet launched in 91 with a sail area of 550m2 and a width of 6.3 meters. Italy’s Santa Lucia was 13th in class and 16th overall at 1h19′:39″. “Fantastic, breathtaking experience,” comments owner Michele Paese, “with this fleet of gulets next to each other competing in a very tight start. A spectacle, that of the fleet of caiques under sail, which satisfied my eyes and heart. Racing gulets is not an easy thing to do. Here the forces at play are high. Only the size of the peaks impresses. Racing these boats is a really difficult feat, but we have seen exceptional sailors at work who make these pachyderms go like drifts. We participate, admire and pack some of their knowledge.” Today we move on to Greece, with the TAV Passport Race, from Gümüşlük to Leros.

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