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Cumhur & Mayisa Gökova

Cumhur (Jim) & Mayisa Gökova sailed around the world
between 10.10.2010 and 10.04.2012
on board GÖKOVA, a 40ft (12m) Mills Design sailboat.
This 18 months circumnavigation from Marmaris to Marmaris is over now and the once tracking website became this documentary website of that trip.

Gökova Sailing Academy is a sailing school that was founded by Cumhur (Jim) Gökova, who is the second person in Turkey to sail around the world, and the    first person to sail it twice. The academy is a family business, run by the members of the family. It was founded in 1988 and since then, we have personally introduced over 10,000 people to the world of sailing. We are the most active sailing school in Turkey, running all year round and covering a wide range of topics from basic sailing courses to Celestial Navigation. We organize long offshore trips such as Israel, Malta, France and Atlantic Crossing. Today, the academy is a member of the International Sailing School Association and was chosen as the ‘’Instructor Training Center 2015’’.

Cumhur (Jim) Gökova was born on 15 July 1950 and is Turkish, Canadian and Abkhazian citizen. In spite of the fact that Cumhur’s ancestors came from Caucasus, he is in love with the sea. He is eager to share his knowledge with everyone who is fond of the sea and is dreaming to take the wheel and start his or her own sea journey. During his sports and training career Cumhur Gökova has prepared hundreds of instructors for IYT and helped them to open sailing schools all over the world.


  • First Turk who sailed from Turkey to Russia (St. Petersburg -Leningrad then) and North Pole (Spitsbergen)

  • Second Turk who sailed around the World

  • First Turk who sailed around the World 2.5 times

  • The only sailing instructor who got awarded by the Turkish Olympic Committee

  • Trainer of the first Turkish women sailing team that won the second prize in the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 2005

  • First women sailing instructors were certified by him

  • Founder of  First RYA (Royal Yachting Association), CYA (Canadian Yachting Association), IYT (International Yacht Training) schools

  • First Canadian citizen who opened CYA (Canadian Yachting Association) school outside Canada

  • One of the world – renowned regatta Marmaris Race Week organizers. 

  • Since 1976 Jim Gökova has trained ~10.000 skippers and 98 sailing instructors from all over the world. In 2011 he initiated the reopening of ISS (International Sailing School) in Vancouver (Canada) and Marmaris (Turkey)


From 10 October 2010 to 10 April 2012 Cumhur and his wife Mayisa were on a round-the-world voyage on board 40-foot yacht GÖKOVA. During the trip Cumhur wrote the book called “Sailing Around the World With Friends”, and Mayisa is now writing the book called “First Caucasian Woman Who Sailed Around the World”.


Cumhur`s father (a school teacher) Ihsan and mother Hikmet are both Abkhazian. When Cumhur was 29 he got married to an Abkhazian girl Güler who was 19. They lived in Canada. They traveled by car across Canada, the USA and Europe. Their marriage lasted for 25 years, they have two sons : Atilla and Tolga. Both of them are sailing instructors. Atilla teaches racing in his 45 foot racing boat in Istanbul, Bodrum and Marmaris. Tolga teaches sailing in Gökova Sailing Academy in Marmaris. 

Cumhur and Mayisa Gökova

At the age of 59 Cumhur got married again to a Caucasian girl Mayisa who was 29, they have three sons Muhammed, Elbrus and Eldar. Most of the time Cumhur and Mayisa live in Marmaris (Turkey) and train those who want to acquire sailing skills. They are teaching at the Gökova Sailing Academy, a member of ISSA.

Gokova Sailing Academy Logo
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