Having over 25 years of sailing experience, Tansel is the chief instructor of the school. You can frequently find him offering brief but wise advice about life, often in a creative and unexpected way; thus his nickname “Big Chief”. When asked about his past life, he always responds with a knowing grin: “Been there, done that. My life’s been a rollercoaster!” He is also known to always have a positive outlook on any situation and to regularly captivate people with short and funny stories from his colorful past.
People are always surprised by his patience level and some try to reach his limits… You can find a smile upon his face at any time, even when students destroy a 5000€ radar dome or repeat the same mistake for the hundredth time in the last 10 days. But somehow, he always finds a way to teach students the required subject, sometimes in a unique way.
He has lived and done business in Europe and the USA. He has owned both motor yachts and sailboats. Sailing more than 50,000 miles, he has sailed in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans; not to mention countless passages around the Mediterranean Sea. Besides sailing, he is a qualified pilot (FAA Pilot License with High Speed Endorsement), PEDI Scuba Diving License (with SAR endorsement) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.
After the decision to escape corporate life, Tansel migrated to the beautiful seaside town of Marmaris and opened up the Smart Sailing Academy. Since then, he has focused on teaching sailing and its philosophy. “Sailing is not just a sport, it’s not just a theory,” he states, “It’s a way of life.”
Gulen always wished she was born on a yacht, wished that she could sail upon those alluring expanses of water, that she could breathe the salty sea air every day; but alas those were just distant dreams… Her love for the sea started when she was just a child. She was born in the seaside town of Izmir, where the sea is an important part of daily life and culture. She could barely contain her excitement when her father took her fishing on his traditional fishing gulet. “I was never good at fishing,” she says, “But I was lucky, because when I was on that boat, I was close to the sea…” From then on, her love for the sea was insatiable. Her father used to say that genuine Izmirians have the sea flowing through their veins and cannot live without the sea.
Her love for the sea did not diminish as she grew up. When she bought a motor-yacht, she used every chance to go to sea and forget the stress of generic everyday life. She took extensive trips along the Turkish coast, enjoying the breath-taking beauty of the Aegean Sea. She was introduced to sailing yachts in 2007 but could not pursue this path due to work-related issues. “The best decision I ever made in my life was when I moved to Marmaris”, she claims happily. After her migration to Marmaris in 2011, she realized all the things she had been missing in life. She started working at the Smart Sailing Academy and progressed towards her goal: becoming a sailing instructor. Following all the necessary steps, she began with the Bareboat Skipper, Yachtmaster Coastal, Yachtmaster Offshore and finally the coveted Instructor License. Having worked for over two years at the school, sailing almost every day and teaching people to love the sea; she says that her dreams finally came true.
Living on a sailboat my whole life, I’ve haven’t spent more than 48 hours away from the sea. Sailing with my family around the world for my entire life, yachting is my lifestyle. Without water near me I don’t feel at home. I love all water sports, and I actively free-dive in the beautiful bays I frequently travel to when on sailing trips. With past experience working at dive centers, I now love the underwater world just as much as the surface. It just happens that my hobby, life, and job are all one and the same. Being at sea means freedom, excitement; the joy of the anchoring any place you want, catching fish, discovering secret coves, meeting interesting people, learning exotic cultures: that’s what I live for. I enjoy sharing my sailing passion, because I believe that the philosophy of sailing is getting people relaxed mentally, being in sync with nature and letting go of all worries and stress. Every day spent on the water teaches us something new and I believe that with each sunset at sea, I learn a little bit more about life. “I’m happy to be part of something that lets us enhance our lifestyle through sailing”, he says with a smile on his face, “I invite you to sail and share this journey!”
It was not too late for me to meet sailing for someone who was born in İzmir and grew up in Marmaris. I was 10-11 years old when I first met sailing. After spending a successful summer at Marmaris Sailing Club, I took a break until I was 16-17 years old. But since most of my family is interested in the yachting sector and at the same time, I couldn't stay away from this job since I was a child. I went back to the boats and the sea again. I worked in sailing schools, I was involved in sailing again. On the other hand, my adventure in yacht racing started, the adrenaline and excitement I experienced made me realize that it would be more right for me to be on the sea. Our paths have now crossed with Smart Sailing Academy. It will make me happy to be able to transfer and share my own feelings and knowledge, knowledge and experience at sea with other people.!
I was born in the middle of the sea in Istanbul Buyukada. Due to the place where I was born, marine life was our way of life. Being born and raised in the middle of the sea means being familiar with small boats and large yachts throughout your childhood. I am a professional (licensed) swimmer. I have been a lifeguard since then. I have many hobbies related to the sea such as amateur diving. Because I love the sea, I received various trainings about the sea and also about sailing, which I can direct my life to. I came to Marmaris by taking my father, who was a captain, as an example. Smart Sailing Academy, where I could develop my knowledge and experience about sailing and also work at the same time, was the right school address for me. I am happy to be here with people who are passionate about the same job as me. With my endless energy and strength, I aim to bring something to everyone, including myself, and I believe that I will love the sea no matter what the conditions are. After my island life, I am now building my future for cruising on the open seas, discovering new people and new places, getting to know and promoting the sea better.!