jump to navigation

CAP sails from Marseille to Istanbul ? 26 mars 2007

Posted by Acturca in France, Istanbul, Turkey / Turquie.
Tags: , ,

Turkish Daily News

March 24, 2007 Saturday

This May the Bosporus will welcome an exciting sailing competition bringing together maritime aficionados, athletes and two cities: Marseilles and Istanbul. Consisting of a 1,520-nautical-mile route, stops at four major Mediterranean cities, 34 teams and 68 athletes, CAP Istanbul, the event called « the Formula One of the marine world, » will start on May 26.

The starting point of CAP Istanbul will be Marseille and sailors will sail for 500 miles to reach the next stop, Trapani in Sicily. The second leg is Trapani-Izmir, which will be the longest one in the race with 800 miles. Izmir-Bozcaada is the third leg and has a length of 120 miles. The final leg of the race will be Bozcaada-Istanbul, the highlight of the event, as it will include passage through the Bosporus. That last stage of the race will be a first time in the Figaro-Beneteau class, as it will be televised and disseminated in the media as was the « Circuit de Monaco » the only street circuit in Formula One, laying out completely on public roads.

The Figaro-Beneteau sailboat, which derives its name from the famous French journal, le Figaro, and Beneteau, an important sailboat manufacturer, is a special model. The boat is known for its rarity, with only 75 of its kind worldwide; each of them being completely monotype.

The particular brand also lends its name to an important class in sailboat races and is considered one of the three top categories of European boat sailing. CAP Istanbul is about to put the spotlight on Figaro-Beneteau as the racecourse will be the first event of its kind in the Mediterranean Sea.

The race is organized by the Olay Nautic, a two-year-old firm that brought sailing fans the Vakko-Odyssey on the Cannes-Istanbul racecourse last year. Although that was an unofficial event that stayed out of championships and classifications, its success has convinced the French side that Olay Nautic can successfully deliver a high profile and international race. Olay Nautic now has a contract to organize a Figaro-Beneteau class race for the next six years. In 2010, to celebrate Istanbul as the cultural capital of Europe, the race will begin on the Bosporus and end in Marseille.

Olay Nautic may be a new organization, but its general director, Cumali Varer, is no stranger to the marine world. He lived in the south of France, Cannes, since 1989 and has since been trying to develop projects that can bring France and Turkey closer through the sport.

That can explain why Varer has insisted on the Mediterranean Sea as the backdrop of the event. CAP Istanbul will be the most significant race in that sea, as most of the sailboat events take place in the Atlantic Ocean, he said. However, the Mediterranean Sea offers a more exciting racecourse according to Varer as he defines the sea’s mood as « crazy and capricious. »

Also a sailor himself, Varer sees what he does as « bringing communication through the sea. » He uses sports, culture or history to help Turkey’s promotion abroad. He complains about the lack of Turkey PR as it is often portrayed as a backward country, especially due to its unique politics and challenges.

Varer asserts that he could have made much more money as a tradesman. Nevertheless, he feels that he has a mission as a Turk living in France and he has high hopes about how CAP Istanbul can repair Turkey’s image.

The Figaro-Beneteau class races will be covered for a total of 100 hours on French television channels. « In France, sailing is the second most popular sport behind soccer, » said Varer, « Six or seven million people will watch the events and understand what a beautiful and modern city Istanbul is, » he added.

As CAP Istanbul will try to use the event to repair Turkey’s image in European minds, many multinational companies can also profit from the sea, according to Varer. He believes that water provides a « clean communication, » evoking good feelings in people’s consciences, as brands such as nuclear energy-based AREVA and oil company Total sponsors sailing in order to clear their negative images in environmental issues.

Sponsorship is a crucial point in sailing as the cost to compete in an important race can be around 70,000 euros. The organization itself also has strong institutional sponsors such as the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Istanbul Municipality, Marseille Municipality and the Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB). The media sponsors are Hurriyet, CNN-Turk, D Spor, Acik Radyo and Power FM.

CAP Istanbul is likely to draw the attention of millions of sports enthusiasts worldwide from the boats departures at Marseille on May 26, to the finishing line in Istanbul on June 14.


No comments yet — be the first.

Votre commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :