Blue Moon rises over the Bosphorus

Blue Moon rises over the Bosphorus

Blue Moon rises over the Bosphorus


24/09/2022 - 08:27

The brand new 40-footer Arkas Blue Moon made a strong start to the Bosphorus Cup after coming out on top from two testing races off the shoreline of Istanbul today. Serhat Altay's team appear to have worked through the typical teething problems of a new racing boat as they sailed the Mark Mills-designed Mat 1220 to scores of 5,2. Also clocking up good scores was the Archambault 35 Coca Cola Içedek - Das, skippered by Yasar Doga Aribas, which shares equal points with Blue Moon and sits in second overall.


Friday's coastal race followed by an inshore two-lap windward-leeward race serve as the appetiser before the main event of the weekend, Saturday's Bosphorus Race. This gives the 73-boat fleet a rare opportunity to compete in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. For a six-hour window, the Bosphorus Strait will be closed to the usual steady flow of huge cargo ships as the international Bosphorus Cup fleet navigate the strong current of the Strait beneath three spectacular suspension bridges which connect Asia to Europe.

For the keener competitors in the fleet, however, today was the more significant day for the overall trophy, as all races carry equal points. In the 16.5 nautical mile coastal race, the fleet set out on a long reach out to the craggy islands of Sivriada and Yassiada before beating back towards the Asian side of Istanbul and the finish near the city shore.


Winner of the coastal race was Erhan Uzun who steered his Farr 40 Jumbo Farrfara to victory ahead of Blue Moon. Having only just handed back the trophy a few days ago as winner of last year's Bosphorus Cup, Baran Öneren was less than impressed with his coastal race result as the Farr 40 Asterisk came just 12th on corrected time.

No such mistake for Asterisk in the afternoon's windward-leeward race, however. This time Öneren's crew finished in the dying light as winners of the two-lap course, raising the three-time overall winners to fifth overall and still perfectly capable of winning again in 2022. Arkas Blue Moon was second in the windward-leeward race, finishing in the midst of the strong Farr 40 pack, with Coca Cola Içedek - Das in third.

Also sailing very consistently was the Bulgarian Farr 40, Chocolate, skippered by Swiss owner Francois Bopp who has been busy training up the best of Bulgaria's up-and-coming Olympic sailors in their early 20s. With third overall in this year's highly competitive Rolex Giraglia Race, it's not much surprise to see this Bulgarian team holding third overall in Istanbul, just a point off the overall lead.


There's a southerly breeze expected for Saturday's race up the Bosphorus Strait, and the fleet are likely to start the race under spinnaker as they set sail on this historic stretch of water at midday local time. On any typical weekend day there are around a million people lining the shores of the Bosphorus. The vast majority of those shoresiders will be out simply to enjoy the view and the fresh air. But when they see the spectacular sight of 73 colourful spinnakers making their way along the Bosphorus, some of those out on a weekend stroll might stay a while longer to watch the race play out in this spectacular maritime arena.


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