Growing crowds and an entertaining contest on Sunday suggest Göcek’s Wobbly Boat Race is carving a niche for itself as one of the Muğla region’s red letter days.          

A total of ten teams took to the water at the D Marin Beach yesterday afternoon – although, admittedly, there were a few who didn’t get much further.

But then it’s the spirit of the event and not fierce competition which makes the day what it is so, despite three teams getting that sinking feeling soon after the start, their members joined the crowds to cheer on the survivors paddling the course.

Winning performance

Team Penola were already leading at the first marker, leaving others battling in their wake; indeed they were hardly challenged after leaving the beach and finished a comfortable first.

Team Penola on course for a comfortable win.

But the battle for second was a different matter, with the Göcek Tennis Club entry being rapidly closed down by Bodrum’s Asmira Petrol with the finish line approaching.

In a dramatic push to the line, Asmira’s entry managed to pull alongside and seemed set to power to the line. However, Asmira capsized within only a few yards left to go, leaving the relieved tennis club to celebrate a hard-fought silver medal.

The Asmira and Göcek Tennis Club teams battle for second
A dramatic end to the race for second left the Asmira team all at sea

Asmira managed to recover to finish third ahead of the Mad Max team with D-Resort in fifth, the D Marin team in sixth and the race committee’s entry crossing the line in seventh. Non-finishers this year included Cata Chysm, the Fethiye Flamingos and Valadare.

Best dressed

There was some consolation for the D Marin team though; each of the entries were given four hours to build their boats from scratch using the same materials and their jet fighter was deemed the best design.

The jet fighter design which won the D Marin team the prize for the best-dressed boat.

A real sense of camaraderie among all the competitors was evident during the award ceremony, where D Marin and the top three finishers were presented with wood-carved boats as trophies.

Team Penola were the overall victors
The Göcek Tennis Club members celebrate a hard-earned second
The Asmira Petrol team collect their third place trophy
The D Marin team – and event hosts – collect their award for best-dressed boat.

Environmental awareness and sustainability were key themes once again this year, with all materials used for boat construction or during the race recovered for recycling or safe disposal.

Comments on the Fethiye Times Facebook page suggest the crowds enjoy the spectacle too.

“It was a really nice family event; hats off to the competitors for their creativity building boats and their imagination decorating them. The fancy dress was fab too!” wrote Ian Smith.

“Fab afternoon; competitors had worked so hard on their boats. Credit to all concerned for the entertainment,” added Amanda Cookson.

The Mad Max team put the finishing touches to their vessel.