We have just got back from our 5-day recce trip to Athens which we found was very successful. Natalie, Hugh and Martin met up with Sasha in Athens last week and we in turn met some of the organisers, race team, charterers, representatives of potential reception venues and harbour masters etc.
Commodore’s recce team meeting at Ydra – captions invited?
We visited about 10 potential harbours and after further discussions selected the proposed route of Athens, Ydra, Ermioni, Poros, Epidavros, Perdika and back to Athens. This gives us opportunities for shorter and longer distances sailing, a couple of options for a dinghy race and with good support from the Athens Yacht Club should make for an exciting event.
We even tried out some of the local restaurants at harbours we visited – it had to be done!!
Kalamaki – is a bustling suburb to the south of Athens about 15km from the international airport. The Alimos marina where we will collect our boats is in walking distance of a number of restaurants, bars, hotels and supermarkets.
Ydra – is a popular harbour in a village that has been prospering before the 6th century BC, on an island that has no cars, and everything is carried around by mule. This lovely place with its trendy shops and waterfront bars has views of the harbour in full swing.
Ermioni – faces the island of Ydra across the Bay of Ydras. It has two harbours – Ermioni and Mandrakia. In the classical era it was famous for the production of the red dye porphyra – made from seaweed – which was used to colour the uniforms of Alexander the Great’s armies. Ermioni was also a ship building centre.
Poros – is another popular harbour featuring a long quay facing south. Although known as “Poros”, the harbour is actually located on the small island of Sfairia – connected to the larger island of Poros by a small bridge to the north.
The harbour can be accessed from both the east and west and is a bustling and friendly centre for the eastern Peloponnese.
The asclepeion (healing temple) at Epidavros was the most celebrated healing centre of the Classical world, where people went in the hope of being cured. At one time it featured a guest house with 160 guestrooms!
The prosperity brought by the asclepeion enabled Epidavros to construct civic monuments, including the huge theatre from the 4th century BC that seats up to 14,000 people. It is admired for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken words.
Perdika is a tiny fishing village on the south-west corner of the island of Aigina. It is picturesque and features many traditional Aegean-style square houses separated by narrow streets. The shore is lined by a group of small tavernas – renowned for their sea food – looking out over the bay and the small island of Moni.
Yacht Club of Greece
We were also lucky enough to be invited to the prestigious Yacht Club of Greece, with its spectacular views over Athens and the bay. We saw the Dragon yacht NHPEYE in which the future King Constantine II of Greece won the 1960 Olympic gold medal.
A visit to the Acropolis museum on the way back to the airport was well worth it and we would certainly recommend visiting whilst in Athens.
The Commodore’s Recce team were delighted to sail in Greece and are excited by the prospect of running the 2019 ECC in the Saronic Gulf. The people we met were charming and helpful and we are confident that the 2019 ECC will be exciting and fun – as in previous years.
Mooring up in this area is a bit different from some other ECC locations. Only a few areas have lazy lines installed, which means that stern-to mooring is carried-out using anchors. Care and cooperation will be essential for the ECC fleet, particularly in the smaller locations such as Ydra and Perdika.
We thought it also worth mentioning now that the shore facilities – such as water, power, toilets and showers are not readily available in most locations. The Commodore’s team were able to manage their recce visit using just the water supply on our boat, and we think that the ECC fleet will be able to do so too – if crews set out with the right expectations.
We certainly felt that the pleasure of sailing in such a friendly, beautiful and historic setting made the few domestic compromises well worthwhile. I hope you agree!
The race officer Vassilis is currently reviewing route, potential courses and handicapping and Sasha and the local teams are investigating the necessary mayor, police and harbour authority approval etc. for each of the harbours before we can finalise the route.
Sasha is also reviewing options and venues for the welcoming and prize giving parties.
To organize such an event as the ECC requires a solid funding. So, for all of you, including your crews who may work at different offices or companies, who could make some further funding available, please do not hesitate to do so. The sponsor letter will be available shortly on the web site, and for any questions please call Natalie (0044 7742 672222), Hugh (0044 7803 051599) or Martin on (0044 7774 428525). The event depends on our common effort to sponsor it; you’ll find it well worth doing.
28 October 2018:
Commodore’s team reports back to entrants after recce trip in mid-October and confirm proposed route destinations for ECC 2019
09 November 2018:
Sponsors letter available on the website
30 November 2018:
Start to request crew lists and team pictures for the log book
In case there are skippers willing to take additional crew on board, let us know. Same the other way, if you know friends that would like to join next year but have no available bunk, let us know. We will try to bring it together.
We hope you find this as exciting as we do and look forward to hearing from you.
Martin Fordham and Crew of EC 24 (Commodore and OC of ECC 2019) http://www.ecc-sailing.com