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Sophia Papamichalopoulos, Winds of Change project
Sophia Papamichalopoulos, Winds of Change project

Press release -


Karpaz Gate Marina is supporting an inspirational project to create the first bi-communal Cypriot sailing team to sail around the divided island of Cyprus together.

With a mission to build peace, connection and change through sport, the historic ‘Winds of Change’ journey provides an opportunity for young Greek and Turkish Cypriots to unite for a common purpose.

The challenge is founded and designed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) Young Leader and Olympian Dr. Sophia Papamichalopoulos, OLY, with the support of the IOC and Oxygono.

The circumnavigation around Cyprus is scheduled for early September, following team development, selection and training during the summer.

As a pioneering development in Northern Cyprus, Karpaz Gate Marina identifies the need to promote yacht tourism possibilities and shares the Winds of Change mission to contribute to peacebuilding, reaffirming its position as a positive force in the future growth of yachting and travel tourism for the whole island.

The Karpaz peninsula marina is backing the project as an Official Supporter, hosting Sophia, the selected sailors and coaches for part of their training schedule in August. The marina will provide access to the resort’s marine and leisure facilities, including accommodation, restaurant, conference room and gym.

A film crew will also be on site to shoot scenes for a documentary production, planned to capture the build-up to the unique journey on screen to showcase how sport can inspire and promote peace globally.

Liza Singer, Managing Director at Karpaz Gate Marina, said: “When I heard about Sophia’s ambitious idea for the Winds of Change project, I had no hesitation in offering support.

“There is a synergy with the Karpaz Gate Marina development and our vision to lead the development of the region, a lesser-known area of the East Mediterranean, in the yachting community and in the yachting tourism sector. The yachting infrastructure has developed in the 12 years since we opened, but to allow the island as a whole to become a real yachting destination, there is a need for collaboration. Cyprus is an island country, with a vast coastline, and we need to utilise this coastline for the benefit of the entire country, putting political issues aside. We look forward to being part of the Winds of Change project and wish them success.”

Cypriots aged between 18 and 35 can apply to join the programme with the best applicants invited to participate in series of workshops and activities before final team selection. During June and July, experienced sailing coaches from both communities will lead courses on the south and north Cyprus coasts, on a single-handed dinghy boat and together on a keelboat to increase confidence.

In the final challenge this September, the team members will live together on the boat, development communication and leadership skills in their bid to become the first Cypriot team to circumnavigate the island.

Cyprus has been a divided island since the war in 1974, during which roughly a third of the country’s population was displaced. Today, Greek and Turkish Cypriots are still divided by a physical border.

Sophia Papamichalopoulos, who grew up as the daughter of refugees, is a former alpine skier and competed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and was Cyprus’ flagbearer during the closing ceremony. Having grown up next to her local sailing club, she has sailed from a young age. For Sophia, sport was the ideal way for her to inspire peace.

She said: “Our project contributes to peace and conflict prevention by bringing the two divided communities in Cyprus together, inspiring more bi-communal activities on the island and promoting the use of sport in the peace-building process. Ultimately, through this project, we want to challenge, empower and inspire young people in Cyprus and around the world.”

See more information about Winds of Change on Instagram and LinkedIn.


For further press information, contact:

Karpaz Gate Marina

Office Tel: +90 533 833 7878


Charlotte Bulloch, Saltwater Stone

Tel: +44 (0)1202 669244


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About Karpaz Gate Marina Resort

Our Vision: Karpaz Gate Marina’s mission is to introducethe less travelled areas of the Eastern Mediterranean to lead the development of this region to create a unique Home, Haven and Heaven on Earth for guests by land and sea.

To achieve the high standards required and to be able to realize our vision, we recognize the importance of upholding the dedication and commitment of our well-trained, motivated and enthusiastic team of employees.

We are committed to making a difference, both for all of our clients as well as for our local community in the remote and beautiful area of the Karpaz.

We are Different, Better, Special.


  • Location: the northern shore of the Karpaz Peninsula in North Cyprus, 20nm west of Cape Andreas and 48nm east of Girne (N35 33.5’ E34 13.6’)
  • Awards: Karpaz Gate Marina was named The Yacht Harbour Association’s (TYHA) International Marina of the Year Runner-up in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022, and the 2017 International Marina of the Year Winner; TYHA’s rating of 5 Gold Anchors was received in July 2013 and the rating of Platinum and Clean Marina status in April 2023; ICOMIA Clean Marina standard achieved in July 2013
  • Berths: 300 accommodating up to 60m vessels, including 15 berths for superyachts
  • Berth services: power and fresh water available for every berth; TV connection; high speed Wi-Fi to all areas of the marina
  • Security: 24/7 CCTV and security personnel throughout the marina as well as access control and access cards for each marina area
  • Boat Yard: 18,000 square metres of dry storage area, with modern and fully-equipped workshops and a 300-ton travel lift accommodating yachts with a beam up to 10m. Services include: yacht painting, carpentry, hull repairs, anti-fouling (including Coppercoat application), polishing and varnishing, teak work, engine and reduction gear servicing, rudder system servicing, navigation equipment servicing, electrical works
  • Fuel: Euro diesel and gasoline available
  • Duty Free status:includes duty-free prices on fuel, technical services and supplies, as well as berthing fees
  • Yacht Club: boat owner and crew meeting place with lounge, kitchen, play area, meeting room
  • Yacht Charter:sailing yachts and motorboats available for full and half day trips
  • RYA Training Centre:Ocean Yachting RYA Training Centre offers theory and practical courses
  • Port of Entry:marina office provides full assistance with clearance procedures
  • Group membership: ICOMIA Marinas Group (IMG); ‘Destinations’, a network of exclusive marinas established by ART Marine Marinas
  • Contact: Marina Office on VHF Channel 10 ‘Karpaz Gate Marina’. The marina also listens on Channel 16
  • Cruising locations: there are miles of sandy beaches, coves and bays along the north east coast of Northern Cyprus, with Famagusta (67nm) and Girne (48nm) a short sail away. The nearby southern Turkish coastline includes the harbours of Alanya, Antalya, Marmaris and Bodrum. In just under 300 nautical miles it is possible to reach Rhodes, gateway to the Greek Islands
  • 2023 offers*:packages include a free haul out, hull wash and anti-fouling application with 21 days hard standing for annual berth holders; Easy Come Easy Go ‘Freezing Option’ to suspend annual contract; Flexible packages to berth in water or dry dock; Technical Package; Discounts for renewing clients *Terms and Conditions apply


  • Hotel: on-site boutique Karpaz Gate Marina Hotel featuring nautical design, with 52 cabins, each with terrace or balcony views, including 44x32sqm Standard Cabins, 4x58sqm Family Corner Cabins, 4x58sqm Corner Suite Cabins
  • The Gallery: 20m indoor pool, jacuzzi and gym are exclusively available for marina and hotel clients; 2 x corporate meeting rooms with tables, chairs, audio and visual equipment
  • Hamam and Spa: treatment rooms, saunas and tradition hamam
  • Beach Club: with 33m Infinity pool, watersports centre providing kayaks and SUPs, private beach with cabanas, children’s pool and play area, restaurant and bar
  • Hemingway’s Resto-Bar: serves international and traditional cuisine all day on the promenade
  • Fitness studio: for pilates, yoga and other classes
  • Events and occasions:music events, weddings, parties, business meetings
  • Shore services:on-site mini-market, chandlery, laundry room, international currency ATM
  • Concierge: airport transfers and border pass assistance, transportation around the island, tours, activities, car rental, all personal assistance
  • Freshwater: produced on site
  • Pollution controls: waste water collection and treatment plant; solid waste collection stations; bilge water collection service; waste engine oil collection stations; independent desalination plant on site
  • Sustainability: solar plan, recycling, on-site vegetable and herb garden, green house and nursery
  • Hotel and activity packages include: Golf & Relaxation; Gourmet; Wellness; Sail; Pilates, Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat
  • North Cyprus sites and attractions include: Karpaz National Park, Golden Beach, St Hilarion, Kantara and Buffavento Castles, Apostolos Andreas Monastery, the ruins of Agia Trias Basilica (Siphai Village), the Ancient City of Salamis, Famagusta old city, Kyrenia (Girne) old harbour, Kyenia Castle and the Shipwreck Museum, Nicosia (Lefkosa) old city, Alagadi Turtle Beach, Bellapais Village and Abbey, Five Finger Mountains and Ayios Philon Church. An abundance of shops and restaurants and interesting attractions are available at the main hubs of Famagusta (Gazimağusa), Nicosia (Lefkoşa) and Girne (Kyrenia).

Karpaz Gate Marina won’s Traveller Review Awards 2023; two LUXLife awards, a Restaurant Guru award for Hemingway’s and a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award

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