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Aegean 600: A new offshore sailing race with the makings of a legend

by Offshore Racing Congress 25 Feb 10:37 GMT 4-10 July 2021
Aegean 600 race © Nikos Alevromytis

From July 4-10, 2021, the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC) in Greece will organize a new 600 nautical mile offshore yacht race. This race - the Aegean 600 - is designed by sailors for sailors in which the sporting challenge will meet the legendary beauty of the Aegean islands. It is the first time the one sea favored by poets, painters and philosophers through the ages, will host such a great offshore sailing event that has both athletic and environmental symbolism, as the message the contestants will convey is "Let's Save Our Seas".

With the support of the environmental organization HELMEPA, HORC aims to organize an event with the smallest possible ecological footprint. Therefore, actions will be taken to educate and inform the entries about marine pollution before the start of the race. Olympic Marine will host the participating boats and be part of this effort as one of the fastest growing marinas in Greece, situated just north of Sounio, around 70 km away south-east of Athens center.

The legends of Aegean sailing are evident from the very beginning of the race, with Cape Sounion at the start against the backdrop of the Temple of Poseidon. The boats will sail for Milos, the home of the Venus de Milo, which is now in the Louvre in Paris. Surrounded by Cycladic white, they will reach the scenic Caldera of Santorini, where the white of the houses blends with the volcanic rock in a sea of blue, creating unique contrasts and images. They will continue towards the southernmost island of the Aegean Sea, Kassos, and leaving Karpathos on the left, the goddess Athena's birthplace and the home of Prometheus, will reach the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. The course will continue towards scenic Kos and Kalymnos, the island of sponge divers, while on the way the sailors will meet dolphins and many beautiful small islands, each with its own history.

The fleet will then sail next to the colorful islands of Pharmakonisi and Agathonisi, and continue to the Icarian Sea, a sea that offers lots of sailing excitement. The sailors will meet Patmos, the island of Saint John and the Cave of the Apocalypse, and will head to cosmopolitan Mykonos and Delos, the birthplace of Apollo. The last islands of the route will be Giaros and Kea. Finally, the contestants will look West on to the Temple of Poseidon and this will mark the end of the sailing adventure and the race.

Through organized excursions, the participants and their friends and family members will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological and historical sites of Athens before the race begins, while during the race escorts will be able to join similar organized excursions outside of Athens.

HORC's goal is to include this race among the international 600 nm classic offshore races, giving the opportunity for all participants to sail in the sea which is considered to be the cradle of the western civilization. The organizers promise to provide to all crews exceptional hospitality, a good organization, and look forward to welcoming everyone in Greece in July 2021 in the first edition of Aegean 600.

This event is being run concurrently with the inaugural edition of another important offshore racing event, the ORC Double Handed European Championship.

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