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Turkey Rally 2010
16 October 2010 - 23 October 2010

When it was good, it was very, very good.........

Turkish delight: feasts and white marble
Marmaris, the largest harbour in Turkey, is glorious off season. 24 Corinthians installed ourselves on our – to this writer, luxurious - two 37ft and two 40 ft Hansas from Phoenix, a high quality, immediately helpful charters, and then headed to the white marble hammam-like facilities to freshen up after a long overnight haul before meeting for our inaugural feast. (Why is Turkish food soooo much better than Greek? Your starter for 10!)
Motoring and hijinks
We began the next morning gamely, but failing any reliable wind, we motored to the beautiful deep water bay of Serçe Limani, ‘Sparrow Harbour’, where locals rowed out to take our bow and stern lines and tie up. We all dove into the 22C water for a swim, but were soon commanded to assemble for inflatable dinghy races by Committee Boat ‘Arethusa’ and rally organisers John Duff (skipper) and Steven Gear-Evans (Race officer). Two laps around all 5 boats - rowing or paddling - with crews swapping after each lap, saw ‘Aida’ capture the day’s prize. Captain Nemo’s Restaurant happily provided motor dinghies to their seafood paradise. Sandra and Lloyd came to rescue of ‘Delphin’, when a stern line broke loose in windy night and boat swung around towards opposite bay side. Lloyd in jimjams heroically rowed dinghy in wind and rain to re-secure the stern line.
High winds, gulets and backgammon
A rolling start the next day saw winds increase to 6-7 knots, gusting stronger. After more than two hours of racing with reefed sails towards our destination of Bozborun, the Committee Boat alerted us that due to gale force winds, tourist gulets had remained in Bozborun Harbour, taking our potential spots, so we shortened course and anchored at the delightful, unspoiled harbour of Sogut. The tentacles of the Octopus Restaurant welcomed, and as gale force up to 8 winds continued for next 32 hrs, we remained in Sogut for the following day. Happily Sogut is the centre of gulek repair and their workshop on the harbour accessible, so it was a rare treat to see these historic ships in all stages of repair and reconstruction. However, rally competition continued unabated with an all-in backgammon match in which Sandra of ‘Delfin’ emerged as winner in closely fought final.
Warm sun, wind shadows and belly dancers
A rolling start and good winds next day enabled us to fit in two wonderful races between glorious pine-covered islands, with the added challenges of negotiating wind shadows. Our race along what must be some of the most spectacular Eastern Med/Aegean coastline was further enlivened by appearance of three Turkish Navy gunboats coming at us at what looked to be 30 knots. ‘Fontessa’ (40 M) won the first race and tied with ‘Delfin’ (37M) for second. We moored that night at Dirsek. Motoring to our first way point next day, we encountered driving winds and rains followed by brilliant sunshine and utter calm, during which time ‘Aida’ perfected their water balloon catapult. As we motored towards Ceftik, we stopped, prompted by Steven and Titia for mid-ocean swim. At Ceftik, ‘Fontessa’ hosted a Turkish Kasbah party where we were all mesmerised by the charms and gyrations of three totally bodacious belly dancers whom they managed somehow to procure, adding to their rally total.
Racing, mast climbing and other devilish activities
At last(!) the wind picked up on our final day where we had some great racing back to Marmaris. Fontessa took the first prize on Race 1. The second around Marmaris Bay and entrance provided huge fun and challenge as boats jockeyed for position in the wind shifts and ‘Delphin’ barely edged out ‘Aida’ at 5.45pm. Mast climbing contests and novelty hoists followed with pirate Claire of ‘Delphin’ sipping G&T’s aloft and mast pole dancing Matt of ‘Aida’ bidding to scoop extra rally points. Overall winner: Fontessa (Skipper Rod Eames); Overall Runner-up and best 37ft boat: Delfin (Skipper Keith Hawkins); Best Crew involvement: Aida (Skipper Gareth Wear); Most Devilish entertainment: Diana (Skipper Richard Anderson).
Special thanks to all skippers, but most especially to ‘Arethusa’s John Duff, Maggie Howard and Yvonne Shaw, who arranged trip and then rearranged mid-rally as conditions changed, and to Steven Gear-Evans, Race Officer, who kept us up to the mark when racing and life exciting and competitive when not.
Victoria Timberlake

Copyright © London Corinthian Sailing Club, 2010