We flew from Madrid on October 19 to Bodrum with stops in Istanbul. Our objective this time is to participate in the regatta Bodrum Cup, a regata unique in the world that is celebrated already since 1989 being this the twenty-sixth edition.
The main characteristic of this regatta is that it is more than 60 Turkish schooners, the typical wooden schooners of great length that with all the sails unfolded and the spinnakers swollen in the wind, are an impressive spectacle.
Our flight arrives late to Bodrum, about 01:30 in the morning. There at the airport, Hassum, the friendly driver who takes us to the port to board our schooner, named Kaptan Yarkin, 24 meters in length, awaits us at the airport.
They welcome us and offer us a Turkish tea and they show us Alberto and to me what our cabin will be during these 5 days.
They tell us that at 8 in the morning is breakfast and at 9:30 we will go sailing to practice maneuvers, so we go to bed fast.
It cuts night, but we have rested well. The bell rings at 8 to let us know that breakfast is ready.
In the big table aft, we know the rest of the crew with whom we are going to sail these days: there are Dutch, Turks, Australians and Spaniards.
We have the Kaptan Yarkin who navigates in the category “schooner” and a precious sloop named Alondra that participates in the category “classic”.
Alondra already won the Bodrum Cup in 2014. We will split between both boats.
The breakfast as always in Turkey is fantastic: orange juice, tea, coffees, peeled tomatoes with an amazing flavor, two types of cheeses, toast, jam, olives, butter, oil, eggs to taste, cereals, etc.
It’s 9:30 and we’re leaving for the race course. Not much wind is expected but fortunately it starts to blow 15 knots from the south. Today’s stage runs from Bodrum to Gumusluk. The wind will therefore be aft and all boats prepare the spinakers.
The output is impressive and in a few minutes the entire bay of Bodrum is stained with thousands of colors with all spinakers.
Start the battle between these wooden giants, where everything creaks and seems to be breaking.
Quickly Alondra is unmarked along with 4 other schooners, that will be his final position during this stage.
The entrance and anchorage in Gumusluk is a tremendous mess. More than a hundred schooners looking for a place to hoist the anchor, something that in such a small place seems impossible.
But after a couple of hours, all boats are placed and the crew rests on deck after eating something.
Evening party in Gumusluk, with a pretty good concert and very good atmosphere.
I meet Askim, the captain of the Dolce Mare, with whom we have sailed many times. He is on a fishing boat with fifteen other captains. There is not a pin to fit. Insists that we board aboard to take Raki with them and without hesitation we jump on board