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[Meeting.ONDECK] Burak Baykan, CEO at D-Marine

We met Mr. Burak Baykan (D-Marine CEO) during the TP52 Super Series. 

Q. Why did you decide to host the TP52 Super Series?

We are very proud of the fact that it had been D-Marin that was given this unique opportunity to host such an important sports and tourism event. This regatta is exactly what Croatia needs as it is perfect for such top-quality nautical tourism. It has all the predispositions to be a top destination in this particular segment as well. Still, the nautical industry is extremely demanding. Bringing the TP52 Super Series, one of the most prestigious regattas in the world, is a significant step in that direction and brings considerable value to Croatia, Šibenik and Zadar, as well as Croatia’s tourism in general. 

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Q. How would you assess the two events held in Dalmacija and Mandalina, respectively? How did it all go?

For nearly two months, both D-Marin and Croatia were the nautical centers of the world. Our colleagues at both marinas worked hard on this project, being constantly at the disposal of the teams, taking care of the organizational aspect of the events and making sure every single detail wascovered. It wasn’t easy but I believe we did a good job. Talking to the regatta participants on numerous occasions, I saw how pleased they were with the organization and our hospitality. Such reactions are the best proof that we as a team did a great thing. Huge compliments go to the D-Marin crew at the marinas and all the people who participated in the organization of the events. Without them, this dream would not have become a reality. 

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3. Did the TP52s love the waters off Šibenik and Zadar? Are these seas, which are famous with its gusts/squalls,convenient for this class?

Nobody can remain indifferent to the beauty of the Croatian coastline. The same was true in the case of the TP52 class sailors. They were impressed with the stunning sites and the landscape, as well as the infrastructure and the level of service they witnessed during their stay in Croatia. Both Šibenik and Zadar won them over on first sight.They were truly delighted with sailing conditions in the Adriatic sea. Also, many of them spent part of their holidays in Croatia immediately after the end of the regatta and for sure will return to Croatia again. This means that we now have important new ambassadors, who will promote Croatia around the world. It is an opportunity that we need to take.

Q. Will you continue to host the same races in the following years?

We plan to host the TP52 regatta again in 2020. We also have big plans for next year, when we will host the ORC World Championships in Šibenik, with 150 sailing boats and about 1000 participants. We will strive to keep up the continuity and we hope that other companies will also go in the same direction because Croatia needs such events. We believe that the future of nautical tourism lies in the consistency of organizing regattas and strengthening the destinations in terms of promotion.

Q. Do you have any plans to invite TP52 to Turkey in the coming years?

We do plan to invite TP 52 class in Turkey and Greece as our marinas in each two countries do have great infrastructure that can satisfy their demands and also great sailing conditions. We plan to promote these destinations through the top class sailing regattas. This will strenghten not only destination but also D-Marin brand worldwide.

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Q. Doğuş Group is planning new projects that support sailing in different categories and areas. Does D-Marin have any similar new projects?

We supported Croatian sailors Igor Marenić and Šime Fantela on their way to Olympic gold. We are glad to have contributed to this sensational success. Meanwhile, Šime decided to change the class for objective reasons, but D-Marincontinue to support Fantela brothers in their preparations for the new Olympic cycle. This is another set of decisions that are in line with our vision of positioning Croatia as a world sailing destination. We strive to invest in unique projects and prominent individuals, as well as the development of sports such as sailing. Also, next year, we will host the ORC World Championship, and in 2020, the TP52 will return to Croatia and maybe one leg of regatta will take place in Turkey or Greece, but it is too early to confirm anything at this moment. D-Marin also supports Fenerbahçe sailing club in Turkey and overall as a group we are very active in supporting sports activities in local communities. 

With these events,we will continue to promote sailing as it is a logical step concerning the core of our business. For me, sailing is a wonderful sport with tremendous potential, and we will always make time to consider new possibilities.