The Yacht Club of Greece is organizing the «International Classic Yachts and Aegean Classic Schooners Regatta – Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2016» for Classic Yachts, Aegean Classic Schooners, Traditional Open Boats and Dragon Class Boats, which will be held from June 30 to July 3, 2016.

The race remains a celebration of all the vital aesthetic beauty that Greece brings together. And it will again feature some of the most renowned classic yachts in Greece using as a backdrop a beautifully preserved historic island town with a naval and shipbuilding tradition, which is unequaled in the Mediterranean.

Yes. The Spetses Classic Yacht Race is based on bringing together the diverse yet complimentary elements which make the island of Spetses ideal for inaugurating such a race.

 

Remembering Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2015

In anticipation to the next race (I literally CAN’T wait…), here’s a #ThrowBack to the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2015, I have visited last June (18-21 June 2015). Which was the biggest Classic Yacht Race in Greece. Organized by the Yacht Club of Greece with a record participation and spectacular races at the “Bogazi” in Spetses, with a view of the imposing building of the Poseidonion Grand Hotel and with the support of Spetses Yacht Club.

75 yachts, divided into three categories (classic boats, schooners and lateens) participated in a 3-day unique race.  For the first time in the history of the race the number of participants in the classic boats category exceeded that of all the others. A day earlier than the official start of the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2015 gave pairs of boats the opportunity to compete in a fun race, the so-called Challenge Race that also acted as a training session. Beautiful classic boats travelled from every corner of Greece, such as Corfu, Syros, Crete, Paros, as well as from abroad, travelling all the way from France, Italy and Cyprus. Among the participating boats was the imposing Aello, skippered by Stefanos Chandakas which belongs to the founder of the Yacht Club of Greece, Antonis Benakis and took part in the race for the first time. Furthermore, Nikos Lykiardopoulos’ Savannah came all the way from Great Britain in order to defend her last year’s title. The fortunate spectators had the opportunity to watch the races at a close distance from the sea, which is what makes Spetses a unique race arena!

The schooner and lateen categories were highly competitive and at the same time very important, since they promote the Greek seamanship and tradition in the art of wooden shipbuilding. Ag. Giorgis skippered by Panayiotis Mathios and Stratis skippered by Stratis Andreadis, have been built in the historic shipyards of Spetses.

During the Award Ceremony at the Poseidonion Square, the President of the Yacht Club of Greece, Alexandros Papadoggonas talked about the innovations that have been introduced this year: “During those five years of perseverance, hard work and constant development, we have managed to integrate the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta in the international calendar of the Mediterranean, attracting a record number of participants (those from abroad more than doubled)!”  For his part, the President of the SCYR and Vice President of the Yacht Club of Greece, Nontas Lampadarios, noted: “Remaining true to the values of the Yacht Club of Greece, we systematically work throughout the year in order to establish the race as one of the most well-organized and important races in the Mediterranean, with visible benefits for the country and the marine tourism industry.”

The greatest moment of the ceremony was the award of the priceless Spirit of Chivalry – Chivas Honour Award Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2015 by the Golden Sponsor of the SCYR Chivas Regal and the CEO of Pernod Ricard Hellas, Christophe Lemarié to the lateen Alexandra X and its World Champions crew Takis Mantis- Pavlos Kagialis, who represent in the best possible way the values of team spirit, sportsmanship and authenticity during the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta 2015.

During the award ceremony, the President of the Yacht Club of Spetses and CEO of the Poseidonion Grand Hotel, Grand Supporter of the race, Mr. Andonis Vordonis handed the prestigious Concours d’Elegance awards to the most well- preserved and authentic boats. In the Classic boats category the award was given to Aello. In fact the Official Tmekeeper of the race, the Swiss watch manufacturers of haute horlogerie, IWC Schlaffhausen with the renewed series, Portugieser, gave Aello an impressive design of Portofino Chronograph!

In the schooner category the Concours d’Elegance award was handed to Panagia Tinou skippered by K. Nikas and in the lateen category to P. Chasapis, skipper of Chrysopigi.

Alexandra Tsoukala, handed the unique Best Crew Appearance Awards to the crew of Baccara that participated in the classic boats category, to the crew members of Notios Anemos and Stratis – they drew – in the schooners category and Alexandra X in the lateen category.

 

[Thank you to the whole Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta team (especially to the talented and fierce Mrs Marina Lida Koutarelli) for granting me full access, and letting me enjoy the most chivalrous of races from the world’s most precious front row seat.  

Last but definitely not least, thank you to the Mayor of Spetses island for allowing me to take my XC60 Volvo Ocean Race with me -with Spetses being a car-free island, this was a tremendous honour.]

 

[All images shot with my Olympus Pen EPL-7.]