Having never been to sea before, not even on a ferry, it’s not difficult to understand how a 17-year-old trainee might have a slight feeling of apprehension as the days count down to the start of the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta.
Schoolboy Attila Dogu, confessed to having a short sail on the beautiful 35m schooner Bodrum but other than that, he’s a total novice.
As far as choosing a good boat to go on, Dogu has come up trumps with Bodrum. She’s one of the most beautiful looking, examples of wooden Turkish gullet you’ll ever set eyes on, and according to her captain Haslet Sever she sails like a dream.
Dogu (pictured right), the delightful young trainee explained why sailing this race was so important to him. “Actually I should be at school right now but I’ve been given time off. I’m using this adventure to hopefully strengthen my chances of gaining a place at Oxford University. Although I’ve not sailed before, I understand that it will be a challenge and this is exactly the sort of thing that will be good to have on my CV. I know it will be hard and yes, I do have a few feelings of concern, but I want to learn as much as I can and really benefit from the valuable time I spend on board.”
From the short time he has spent on board so far, Dogu has quickly realised how difficult a job it is to be captain of a ship. “It’s an unbelievably demanding job,” continued Dogu, “there were times when we were all tired, hot and frustrated but the captain has to be strong, and has to try to cheer us up regardless of how he is feeling.”
Haslet Sever (centre), who’s been the Captain on Bodrum for eight years, since she was virtually new, says he has a good crew this time with seven core crew, and nine trainees. “Finding trainees at this time of the year is a challenge in itself,” said Server. “Most of the trainees we recruit come from schools and colleges so when the race takes place during school period, we find it difficult to find the right ones.”