26th MIRW Friday Highlights

You join us on the final day of Marmaris International Race Week here at Netsel Marina. Everywhere was a sea of happy faces, exhilarated from a successful week of racing so far. Superb weather and sailing conditions, combined with the joy of hard work and teamwork guaranteed a positive feeling for all. 

Onto the final day, and the focus is also about finishing on the podium in the overall rankings. So no let-up until the end. Racing got underway late, as the fleet waited patiently for the breeze to fill the Gulf of Marmaris. A shifty wind of around 6 knots teased across the water, so hunting out the pressure and spotting the shifts would be critical for success. 
The tricky weather had the fleet searching for the breeze, with numerous wind holes dotted across the Gulf of Marmaris. A wind shift could deliver either a major gain or a major loss - so crews had to keep their eyes wide open. The light wind held throughout the day, giving all teams finishes in the final race of the 26th Marmaris International Race Week. The usual suspects were leading their divisions, including Igor Buskovskis and his team on Letteland from Latvia, who have controlled the IRC3 division since the opening race. After so many years competing here in Marmaris, he is living proof that experience counts.
The week closed with a memorable awards ceremony. All sailors gathered in the big race village tent to cheer the winners and of course… enjoy the party! The rendezvouz was renewed for next year and another Marmaris International Race Week. Until then, thanks for watching.

26th MIRW Thursday Highlights

The penultimate day of racing here at Marmaris International Race Week, marked Turkey’s most important national celebration: Turkey Republic Day, commemorating the anniversary of the nation’s founding, 92 years ago. On the race track, an all-important day to put scores on the leader-board and hold onto a shot at overall victory. 

The challenge ahead was the event’s second coastal race. A glorious sight as the fleet heading out into the Gulf of Marmaris again – to face the nuances of the local breeze. 
A simpler triangular course than yesterday, led the fleet downwind to the first mark. Although it looked like the wind would build from early on in the race, as the leading boats approached the mark they were faced with a dreaded “wind hole”. Big frustration as the fleet pecking order was shuffled up, giving significant gains to those bearing down on the leaders. 
With the wind filling in from the back, inevitably it was like restarting the race just before the mark. Certainly a challenge for the leading teams whose advantage was eroded, asmore than 100 boats tried to round the mark at virtually the same time. 
The wind soon picked up again and the fleet separated out, heading fast upwind to the second mark. The breeze favoured the smaller yachts, who seized the advantage and covered the course more swiftly.
Another successful day of racing saw the fleet finishing early enough to leave plenty of time for the usual energetic evening of “post-race” partying. 
Tomorrow marks the concluding day of the 26th Marmaris International Race Week. With 1 inshore race scheduled, it will be decisive. The forecast looks superb, so an exciting climax to the week is on the cards. 

26th MIRW Wednesday Highlights

Welcome to day 3 at Marmaris International Race Week. After a tough and long day of offshore racing yesterday, the fleet was set for some action packed inshore races in the Marmaris Gulf. By the close of racing today, over half the scheduled races would be completed and those in podium contention would become clearer. 

Carrying such a strong reputation, the Marmaris International Race Week has to hold it’s position and deliver to the most demanding of sailors and teams. Fortunately today the Marmaris weather did not let itself down. Although there were some slow paced starts, the classic breeze soon kicked in and filled the gulf – delivering some fast paced racing to keep crews on their toes.
A spectacle of multi-colored spinnakers filled the Marmaris Gulf, as the 130 yachts raced a triangular course format. Intense racing with some close shaves were the order of the day. A crew overboard one yacht, was superbly recovered when faced with the fleet bearing down on them. 
With no further incidents, later in the afternoon all boats had returned to the marina - exhausted but exhilarated from another great day of racing. Time for some overnight rest and recuperation.The day ended in festive mode, with crews receiving prizes for the day’s inshore race, as well as yesterday’s coastal race, in an “Octoberfest” style evening hosted at the race village tent.
Two more days remain to decide the leader board at Marmaris International Race Week. All is still open in each of the 10 divisions. Join us again tomorrow.

26th MIRW Tuesday Highlights

We join day 2 at Marmaris International Race Week, where teams were keen to return to the track, after yesterday’s forced race abandonment due to no wind. Today’s 30 mile coastal race would be a real test of strategy and tactics. A focus on finding a clean lane to sail clear of the packed fleet would give the early advantage.

In a bold move from the Race Committee, the expected race start inside the Marmaris Gulf was re-set out on the Aegean Sea – which altered the starting strategy for teams. Starts got underway on schedule and the fleets headed off on the coastal challenge.
A quick reaching leg, before rounding cape Kkadirga, soon had the fleet out on the open sea, where the tactics took over. Hugging the shoreline or venturing further out into the Aegean, would decide the winners of the day. As the race unfolded, teams need to think analytically, anticipate how a threat can be dealt with or a change made – how their  team can win. The advantage today went to those who stayed close to the shore.
Papili 2 skippered by Mustafa Koc led the fleet to the turning mark at bozukkale. From there, it was a slow paced downwind back to Kkardiga. The wind picked up as boats entered the final straight to the finish line, making it hard for the bigger boats in front to maintain their leaderboard position.
The fate of tomorrow’s inshore race rests on teams’ finish time in today’s offshore race. All eyes were on the finish line to see who would win. Hoping for a good breeze tomorrow - until then stay tuned.

26th MIRW Monday Highlights

Welcome to beautiful Marmaris and Netsel Marina, host of the 26th edition of Marmaris International Race Week. Every year, the gulf of Marmaris is packed with sailors from around the word, eager to race and enjoy the shore festivities at the same time. 

2015 is no different, and the line-up of 130 boats join the starting line in 10 different racing divisions, categorized based on length and boat type.
A few changes this year, sees the racing and charter cruising boats awarded 4 divisions each, and 2 new divisions added for charter performance boats.
Always ready to face the challenges on the race track, sailors are also here to enjoy the warm Marmaris climate and intense week of competition ahead.
Today though, the wind was untypically light. Teams had to be patient and keep themselves focused as they waited, hoping for the breeze to fill in. Yesterday’s rains however, meant the wind was not going to come easy. 
Finally the race committee was forced to abandon racing for the day and send teams back ashore. Despite no racing, teams did, as always, enjoy the evening’s entertainment and social gathering back at the marina. The evening parties here are a daily highlight of Marmaris International Race Week.
Tomorrow, racing continues with the fleet heading outside the gulf of Marmaris to contest the coastal race. Do not miss it.