Since 1990 yachtsmen from all over the world have converged on Turkey to participate in the Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally. Beginning with a small fleet of 17 boats, the rally has expanded rapidly to include a cruising fleet of over 100 boats.
In 1995 the traditional Rally route, (Antalya - Bozyazı - Girne), was extended from İstanbul to Kemer and internationally, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt were included in the Eastern
Mediterranean Yacht Rally.
In 2016, the 26th EMYR rally was cancelled because of the civil war in Syria, and
the deteriorating political situation in Turkey.
The Coordinators expect an improvement by early 2017 and plans are at an advanced stage for a repeat of the EMYR in 2017. This time however, expect big changes! For some years the Rally Committee has been urged to consider an alternative to the traditional route. As a result an ambitious but viable alternative is being considered. Starting from Kas sailing eastwards along the Turkish south coast all the way to Mersin and then back to Kas via N. Cyprus calling in at different marinas or anchorages. Then from Kas following the south-west coast and the Sea of Marmara to West Istanbul Marina. Rally participants Kath & David Gerrard (UK), Sue & Lammert Zwaagstra ( UK & Holland) and Gönül & Hasan Kaçmaz (Turkish) from three different countries make up the permanent Rally committee for 2017. In addition to the core organisers, every port and the marina in Turkey, TRNC – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, have organised local groups to work on projects to improve marinas and ports along the rally route to accommodate the Rally participant’s needs.
The first President of Northern Cyprus Mr. Rauf Denktaş, second President Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat and third President Mr. Derviş Eroğlu have supported the festivities and made visiting yachtsmen to the Girne Marina, Delta Marina and lately also to Karpas Gate Marina feel most welcome for the last 25 years.
The previous president of Turkey, Mr. Süleyman Demirel has supported the Rally for the last 24 years on the Turkish Coast. Unfortunately he has passed away in June 2015. We will remember his support always.
The Turkish Coast Guard has traditionally accompanied the Rally yachts between Antalya and Port Said until 2002 and due to the political conflict in the region they couldn’t accompany the rally for 2003 & 2004 and the Coast Guard boats were with us again in 2005 to 2015 EMYR only for the Turkish Coast. In 1995 - 2002 the Coast Guard was invited by the States of Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt to conduct official port visits as part of the rally. The Turkish coast guard has been valuable to the rally providing security and often-technical assistance to the participants.
The Rally, over its 27 years of activity, besides being a sporting event has helped to promote yachting tourism along its route and brought the marinas at Antalya, Alanya, Bozyazı, Mersin, İskenderun, Girne, Mağusa, Lattakia (Syria), Jounieh (Lebanon), Haifa, Herzliya and Ashkelon (Israel), Port Said (Egypt) to the attention of the international yachting community. Even more importantly, the local authorities have now realised that yachting tourism has reached their doorstep. The Rally has encouraged communities to begin feasibility studies involving their marina facilities and how they service the yachting community. For example the Kaş, Alanya & Mersin Marinas in Turkey, Girne Delta Marina & Karpazgate Marina in Northern Cyprus provide better services, such as secure berths, showers, washrooms, electrical and water connections. In addition the necessity of new marinas is now being discussed in Northern Cyprus. New marinas are under construction at the ports of Tekirdağ in Marmara Sea, Burhaniye in the Gulf of Edremit, Gazipaşa Marina in Antalya Bay and in İskenderun. We believe that Lattakia and Tartous marinas will be important yachting centres in the future when the peace comes to Eastern Mediterranean waters again. The Port Said Governor office seeing the potential of international yachting tourism has completed feasibility study for a Port Said Marina.
The number of the participants in EMYR 2017 rally is limited to be 60 yachts from different nationalities and LOA size will be min. 8 m. to max. 19 m. We believe the support from the Marina Operating companies in Turkey & N. Cyprus will continue in the up and coming years, allowing the EMYR to continue to promote yachting in the Eastern Mediterranean waters.
Commodore Teoman Arsay, SYMat
The Rally Committee,
Kath & Dave Gerard Sue & Lammert Zwaagstra Gönül & Hasan Kacmaz
SYMashona SYMakena SY Ibis II
Ebru Mete Kahraman