“If you deconstruct Greece, you will in the end see an olive tree, a grape vine and a boat remain. That is, with as much, you reconstruct her”, wrote Odysseas Elytis quite a few decades ago.
Equally so, should one attempt to deconstruct the very Gatsby-esque Stratis Andreadis, one will in the end see sails, hulls, masts and sea salt. But in his case, even if one would attempt to reconstruct him by adding all pieces together, one would be doomed to fail.
It’s probably the way he feels and thinks, the way he looks at the same object as hundreds of others before him, but only he really sees it, because he feels it differently.
A sailor by birth (he admires immensely James Spithill, the Australian hero of America’s Cup), born into a family that had sea, wind and seamanship written in their DNA, and co-founder of Salty Bag (a brand that collects discarded and retired sail for the Greek seas and upcycles them into carefully designed and long-lasting bags and travel accessories – each telling a different story, coming from the boat it once was a part of), since 2013.
But Stratis Andreadis is also one of the initiators of the very idea behind the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta (born in 2011), one of its founders and creators, and, still up to this day, member of the organizing committee.
The Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta is a unique 4-day event organised by the Yacht Club of Greece, staged to the amazing backdrop of the Poseidonion hotel and the Argosaronic Gulf, a series of classic and traditional yachts (Classic Boats, Traditional Caiques, Traditional Lateens, Dragons) form an exquisite parade, with crews from Greece and around the world.
Moët & Chandon, known for their love and support for sailing, apart from being a proud gold sponsor again this year, actually set sails with Olympic Medalists Takis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (and their team), setting eyes on that precious cup, on board graceful “Glaramara”, built in 1947 to the same hull design as “Amokura” by Frederick Shepard. An extraordinary yacht that has been part of the Stratis Andreadis’ family for two generations now.
Personally, I still clearly remember the day he won the Aegean Classic Schooner category with «Stratis». And when he was given the cup, he automatically offered it to Dinos Korakis – the man who built his schooner.
I remember thinking just how much we could learn by being spectators of that race and of that seemingly simple gesture.
All in all, if the unique, talented, noble and hilarious Mr. Andreadis did not exist, Greece would have to invent him.
In other words, after having attended every single Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta ever since it first came to life, it was about time I finally sat down and deeply enjoyed a glass of Moët & Chandon with him. Talking, naturally, about his favourite subject.
Is organizing SCYR a challenge?
Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta is definitely one of the most difficult races to organize. We are talking about a sailing race of international standards that takes place in Spetses – an island without a harbor. Thankfully, with the help of all Spetsiots, the Municipality of Spetses and the Hellenic Coast Guard, we managed to breathe life into an event of unique character and ethos – by honoring the principles and values of noble competition and fair play, with spectators having the opportunity to enjoy world class sailing in a celebration of both nautical sport and woodworking art.
Describe sailing, using only three words.
Man, sea, craftsmanship.
If you were a sailing boat, which kind would this be?
Definitely a J class.
The most important lesson you were taught οndeck.
Be prepared. Your team is everything. Respect the sea, never be afraid of her. Every race is won long before it starts, while still on the shore.
When it comes to sailing, what can be considered as a luxury?
Everything else, apart from the above stated.
How do you choose your sailing crew?
They are men / women of integrity. They share the same ethos. Their hearts are big. They know how to have fun, while taking pride in their seamanship.
Name the one race you shall never forget.
Every single Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta, since the very first, back in 2011. For meeting beautiful people, for enjoying that paradise island, for admiring traditional, even historic yachts, for redefining yourself through each race.
After which race did you feel particularly proud?
It was back in 2018. Due to an incident, attributable to human factors, I saw “Stratis” sink, right at the start line. I remember my first thought, “I will not let the boat sink, now is the time to built beautiful experiences”. And so I rolled up my sleeves – and so did the crew and the organization committee, who rushed in to help, this is all part of the code we share. “Stratis” was immediatey recovered from the bottom of the sea and I was proud, so proud. Of being member of a team that later worked all night to restore the damage. Member of a team that managed to win the race the very next day, on that same boat.
Where will you ideally be 10 years from now?
In a beautiful, quiet place. Where time almost stands still.
ON M & C
Name the three words that come into your mind when you think of Moët& Chandon.
History, excellence, elegance.
Do you open a bottle only after a victory, or is even the participation / experience reason enough?
Wherever a unique experience may lead you, you will need an equally unique way to celebrate. Trophies, victories and wins don’t matter more than they absolutely have to. What really counts is to participate, to play along. That is life.
Assuming you were to host a unique and very private dinner for 5 special guests at the Moët& ChandonΜaisonin Épernay, France. Miles and miles away from your beloved sea, but feeling it in the air. Serving, naturally, MoëtChandonGrandVintage. Who would these 5 guests be?
Ezra Pound, Ε.Ε Cummings, Marcus Aurelius, Frederick the Great, and Winston Churchill.