We Gain Exclusive Access to the Turkish 470 Champions
The Road to Rio Starts with the national championships for the Veteran Turkish Pairing
Last week Ates Cinar and older sibling Deniz won the Turkish Federation 470 sailing championships for an unprecedented 6th time. So far ahead are the brothers in this class, they looked slightly embarrassed collecting the trophy. This self effacing and humble appearance hides the true extent of their drive and passion to succeed and become the first Turkish Sailors to represent their country in three Olympic games. Even then, they didn’t have it all their own way and there was some exciting racing and a glimmer of hope for the opposition.
In order to compete at the highest levels, the job of securing national success in the first hurdle. Given their domestic dominance of the 470 class, a clean sweep of victories in the 6 race regatta was the obvious target. But in race one, as they fought to get used to a new a boat, were kept in second place. Order returned in race two with victory, but before the brothers could be assured an overall win they hit the buy marking the far end of the line at the start. This was compounded by dragging the anchor line of the boat acting as the which resulted in the centre board of their 470 class dinghy popping out.
What ensued was probably best described as a frank exchange of views as the pair struggled to regain they grip on the race, and at this point the regatta itself. It was here that the grit and the determination of the two olympians came through. After regain control of the boat, resetting the dagger board and completing their 360 degree turn to exonerate themselves for hitting the buy marking the line; they still managed to reach the first mark in first place. Experience downwind and around the rest of the course ensured victory in this and all the remaining races.
Deniz operating as helm (steering) and Ates as crew (handling the sails and equipment) the duo have now received the Turkish Sailing Federation approval to represent Turkey in next year’s World Championships in Israel. This event doubles as a qualifying event where they need to in the top 20 (excluding any positions from countries with more than one boat ahead of them) to qualify for Rio.
It’s not all about training and sailing hard; although there is no doubt this is a huge factor. The two are training hard at their new club, the sporting giant Galatasaray. At the same time the business of competing at this level means they must continue to seek sponsorship that would give them a competitive equality with their rivals at better funded federations. A new coach, a new boat, new sails and the ability to attend more regattas will all play their part in their ability to compete for sailing glory at the Worlds and at the the Olympic games themselves.
All good things must come to an end. An injury to Deniz saw the two miss out on this year’s world championships. A fourth Olympic games is not even in their minds, but ensuring their is life after national sports is. Offers are already tempting opportunities with professional races crews, but alongside their preparation, the guys are part of a start up to bring the party sailing flotilla to Turkish shores. The South Week Organisation is a rather classy version of the party sailing holiday made famous by the Yacht Week. The beach parties, the boats rafts up in secluded anchorages and the guests encouraged to party the night away on the deck whilst the house DJ booms party music into the night. Special treats like sailing the formula 40 multihulls at the Bozburun Yacht Club gives their new venture real appeal.
We sincerely wish them all the very best in all their endeavours both on and off the water. We look forward very much to reporting on their progress on the Road to Rio.