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Coca Cola fizzes to the top at Bosphorus Cup

by Andy Rice 25 Sep 21:02 PDT 22-25 September 2022

For the first time in many years, one of the smaller boats has won the Bosphorus Cup in Istanbul. Yasar Doga Aribas and his team on the Archambault 35, Coca Cola Içedek - Das, lifted the ornate trophy thanks to very consistent scores in the three-day competition.

Time ran out

There were bigger boats breathing down Aribas' neck, and today was the last opportunity to take the fizz out of Coca Cola's charge. A race got under way in very light airs, occasionally rising to 6 knots, but making it hard going to get the boats moving. Yildirim Kaymaz's Farr 55, Orient Express VI, ghosted into the lead down the first run and led through the leeward gate. But when the breeze collapsed, the race committee was left with no choice but to abandon on the second upwind leg. The regatta was done, and Coca Cola had won.

As the fleet headed for Kalamis marina, event founder Orhan Gorbon motored over to the jubilant crew of Coca Cola Içedek - Das and presented the young skipper Aribas with the trophy in front of a packed corporate hospitality boat out to enjoy the day. The team punched the air in jubilation as they held the trophy aloft on their humble 35-footer.

The elusive win

The six Farr 40s in the 73-boat fleet have been a strong feature of the competition this year, and it was Jumbo - FarrFara skippered by Erhan Uzun who came in second. "We have finished well in many editions of the Bosphorus Cup," smiled Uzun. "We have been second before, and third and fourth. Still we have to win so we keep on trying."

In third overall was the winner of the first day, Arkas Blue Moon. The most striking boat in the fleet with its beautiful blue sails, Serhat Altay's 40ft Mat 1220 was looking competitive out of the box. What let the Cesme team down was their lack of local knowledge of how to navigate the currents and back-eddies of the Bosphorus on Saturday.

Local knowledge in the Strait

Last year's winner, the Farr 40 Asterisk, also came unstuck in the Bosphorus although a race win in Friday's windward-leeward race showed that Baran Öneren's team has lost none of its competitive spirit or abilities.

Levent Peynirci's Farr 40 Setur Marinas Cheese was winner of the Bosphorus Race, showing great skill in working the best of the breeze and the currents through the beating heart of Istanbul. A full series of races would have afforded Peynirci the opportunity to discard a disastrous 40th place on Friday in the windward-leeward race, but overall glory will have to wait another year.

Working closely with his co-organiser Efe Özbil, event founder Orhan Gorbon is ever focused on improving the Bosphorus Cup from year to year. "Twenty years ago I was doing everything," laughs Gorbon. "Putting the stickers on every boat until late into the night. Now Efe does such a great job of leading a team that enables me to keep on dreaming and working towards where I believe the Bosphorus Cup can reach in the future. I strongly believe that however big the gap between this event 20 years ago to where it is today, the Bosphorus Cup will be much, much bigger in another 20 years."

Massive commercial growth

The massive growth in sponsorship partners this year shows there are many companies who see the same potential for the Bosphorus Cup as Gorbon himself. "I think the Bosphorus is one of the most fantastic race courses for a sailor ever to experience," he said. "To race through such a historic piece of water with all its ancient monuments and three modern suspension bridges, there is nothing else like it. For Istanbul, there is no better showcase of what this city has to offer, and it's good to see that many companies are alive to the potential of the Bosphorus Cup to bring attention to the city and to Turkey."

With great sailing on the waters of Istanbul and great parties in Tersane, at the water's edge of Istanbul's historic Golden Horn, it's no wonder that the sailors who come to try the Bosphorus Cup for the first time keep on coming back for more.

Bosphorus Cup is sponsored by:

  • Jumbo, Turkish cutlery and tableware company
  • ALL - Accor Live Limitless
  • Tersane Istanbul, property company who provides the event venue
  • Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • MG Cars, who supply cars for the event
  • Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
  • Gorbon Ceramics, the event founder's company which produces trophies for the event

Full results at

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