Roger and his wife have been living in Turkey for years, basing themselves in Yalikavak. Roger has been racing sail boats for years too and he purchased Orkan five years ago. According to Roger Orkan is only ever put in the water for the Bodrum Classic Wooden Boat race – it spends most of its time on the hard. A patient and competent skipper Roger kept his head, and his boat, when all around him were losing hope on that windy day! Roger was accompanied by Brian, his tennis partner from the UK, who was holidaying with his wife. Although Brian claims to know little about sailing he’s done his fair share of English channel cruising, a story he tells with great relish, but one which must be saved until after everyone has eaten.
Mike (pictured at the helm, above) has been living in Turkey longer than Roger and helped set up the original sailing flotilla company way back in the 80s when sailing had only just been invented. Mike almost missed the start of the race due to ‘socialising’ the night before but he was an extremely useful person to have on board as he had already raced Orkan the two previous years and knows the boat backwards.
Bilge and Maric are two ‘locals’. Well, Bilge was originally from Ankara but has been living in Bodrum for so many years he’s as well known as the Sunger bar. Maric used to own a number of boats and is a skipper himself. Both added the Turkish kudos us Englishment desperately needed in this strictly Turkish traditional wooden boat race!
Orkan is a 64 year old gaff schooner. I don’t have many more details than that at the moment but I do know that it wasn’t always a schooner. This is something Roger converted to when he purchased the boat. He has the original set of sails too but uses more modern stay and jib sails when racing it.