Known as the young dentist that has sailed around the world, and the first Cypriot woman to ever sail from the UK to Australia on a racing sail boat, Memnia’s passion for the sea began at a very young age. But it was dentistry that she initially decided to pursue as a career, building up her profession in London over the past eight years, with a special interest in Aesthetic Dentistry and Facial Aesthetics.
But one day, not very long ago, she decided she needed a career break and was overcome with a burning desire to go on a life changing adventure. And so, she signed up to take part in an international sailing race: the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The ultimate purpose of the race is for the 12 identical boats, manned by amateur sailors and led by professional skippers, to complete a circumnavigation of the earth, going through some of the most treacherous weather systems and isolated areas of the planet, in 11 months. The company trains the ambitious sailors prior to departure with a mandatory vigorous training programme.
The race began at the start of September 2015 and Memnia had originally only signed up for the first leg of the race, crossing the Atlantic, travelling from London to Rio de Janeiro. But things changed along the way! Memnia fell in love with life at sea so very much that she continued sailing to Cape Town, Albany, Sydney, Hobart, until she reached Airlie Beach, Australia, the final destination.
Rather impressively, Memnia has covered more than 18 000nM in total, becoming the first Cypriot woman to have sailed from the UK to Australia on a racing sailing boat. During the race, the Clipper boats also took part in the historic Sydney-Hobart Race, one of the biggest international sailing events. Memnia’s team came second in their category and 26th in line honours, through a tough race which saw 30% of the 110 fleet retiring due to stormy conditions and subsequent damage of their boats.
Today, Memnia splits her time between England and Cyprus, combining dentistry with her love for adventure; sailing, scuba diving, trekking- you name it, Memnia will have tried it!
Always enjoying new experiences in her home-country, My Cyprus Insider now asks her ten questions about her favourite things to do in Cyprus…
1.Three things you most love about Cyprus…
Sea, sun, food.
2. Favourite spot on the island?
Being a true sea lover, the spot that inspires me the most is a quiet beach, in a quiet secluded location in Larnaca. Not many people know it, so it’s away from the hustle and bustle. I go there to relax, think, enjoy the sea, and think of my next steps.
3. Favourite town?
Well… I would have to say Larnaca Because it has an endless coastline, it’s small, so everything is nearby. I can go to the beach, swim and come back within half an hour! For me, that’s priceless! It has a relaxed pace of life and people are more down to earth here. It’s also closer to all the other cities in Cyprus, so it is not difficult to get to a variety of sites easily.
Photo: Kirill Makarov
4. Best memory?
My family used to go to Paphos at the weekends when I was little. We would go see the mosaics and the Tombs of the Kings and it felt very special being a tourist on your own island, seeing all the marvellous things we have here!
5. Perfect weekend break?
The ideal weekend break for me would be visiting and exploring an area of Cyprus that I haven’t explored before! For instance, staying overnight somewhere near Akamas, where I could wake up and do some trekking or even ride a Segway through some of the terrain, and relax, enjoying the views, ending the hike with a refreshing swim in the sea, until sunset, then going to the nearest tavern to enjoy fresh fish.
6. A day at the mountains or beach?
Well, by now I think you must have realised I’m a sea addict! I love the mountains too though, especially as my dad comes from a mountain village where I spent a lot of my childhood. But if I had to choose, then I’d choose the sea! I love the perfect white sand all along the Protaras/Ayia Napa area and I could stay there for the whole day soaking up sun!
7. Favourite place to eat?
I don’t have a specific place I like to eat because I like a variety of foods and love to try new tastes out. I’m very easy going when it comes to food, so I like to experiment. My favourite type of food is seafood, so probably, my favourites are fish taverns by the sea, like in Zygi or Larnaca.
8. Favourite place for a drink?
Hmmm…I think it would have to be Guru Café Lounge on the Finikoudes strip in Larnaca. It’s a lounge bar, where they have amazing Shisha and cocktails. The service is good and it gives you the feeling that you’re in some oriental country.
9. If you were to recommend a visitor tries just one local dish, what would it be?
I think souvla! The succulent meat straight from the foukou! Serve it with fresh salad on the side and voila, you have the perfect meal!
10. Best season in Cyprus?
Spring time. Because it’s warm enough, but not too hot, and we are lucky enough to enjoy plenty of sunshine too. You can easily plan a trekking excursion or visit the Cyprus countryside without the constant thought that it’s too hot. Cyprus is really green during during the spring and at its at its most beautiful!