Bora Gulari, Nacra 17
CLASS: Nacra 17
TEAMMATE: Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)
US OLYMPIC TEAM: Rio 2016
US SAILING TEAM: 2016-Present
HOMETOWN: Detroit, Mich.
HIGH SCHOOL: Ann Arbor GreenHills (Ann Arbor, Mich.) ‘93
COLLEGE: University of Michigan ’00, Aerospace Engineering
AGENT/PRESS INQUIRIES: Contact Will Ricketson, US Sailing
SIGNIFICANT SAILING ACHIEVEMENTS:
Nacra 17th Olympic Class:
- 8th, Rio 2016 Olympic Games
- 7th, Sailing World Cup Weymouth & Portland, 2016
- 12th, Sailing World Cup Miami, 2016
- 1st, 49er North American Championship, 2001.
- Moth World Speed Record of 30.31 knots, breaking the previous speed record of 27.9 knots
- Two-time Moth World Champion – 2009 and 2013.
- 2009 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year (highest national annual award in sailing)
Gulari teamed up with fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) to campaign for Tokyo 2020 in the Nacra 17, which is now a foiling class. In August 2017, Gulari suffered an injury to his hand while training, and lost part of three fingers.
Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) finished strong in the Nacra 17 class with a 4th place in the Rio 2016 medal race. After an impressive charge up the standings in the 2nd half of the event, the Americans finished 8th overall in the high-speed mixed multihull. “We picked up eight spots in three days in a pretty tough fleet, and I’m pretty proud of that,” said Gulari, a two-time Moth class World Champion and US Sailing Yachtsman of the Year. The pair had suffered some mishaps earlier in the event when trapeze wire breakages forced their withdrawal from Race 3 and Race 5. “If we hadn’t done that,” said Gulari, “we might have been a heck of a lot closer to the podium, and maybe even pulled it off. Who knows, but I couldn’t be more proud of Louisa or the effort we put forth together.”
From Gulari/Chafee Racing: A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Gulari came to the U.S. as a toddler when his parents did their post-doctoral work at Stony Brook University on Long Island. His family settled in Detroit when his father and mother took professorships at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University respectively. Both of Bora’s parents were sailors and they introduced him to windsurfing at age four, with his father giving him a golf umbrella to use when a suitable-size rig was not available. It was not until he attended the University of Michigan (which he graduated in 2001 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering) that he actually set foot in a dinghy.
From his late start in dinghies during college, Bora went directly into the crew position in a 49er campaign taking aim at the 2004 Olympics. His team’s best performance was a victory at the class’ North American Championship in 2001.
After his 2004 Olympic Team bid, he raced Melges 24s and considered going back to his windsurfing roots with an Olympic campaign in the RS:X. Then he read an article by Rohan Veal about the foiling Moth which led to his watching YouTube videos and reading blogs and articles on this new technology. For a speed-obsessed sailor like Bora, the Moth seemed like the next logical choice, and he put a deposit on a Moth having never sailed the very challenging boat.
Bringing it full circle, in September of 2009, Gulari set the Moth speed record of 30.31 knots, breaking the previous speed record of 27.9 knots which had been held for almost three years. He is a two-time Moth world champion – 2009 and 2013.
Adding to these credentials, Bora was selected as the 2009 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. He was also set to sail in the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, aboard the Italian boat, Luna Rossa, before they withdrew from the competition.
Bora needed a new challenge and enjoyed the idea of doing a new dinghy campaign. The Olympic Nacra 17 was the obvious choice with its speed, technical aspect, and level of competition.