Following the stars, having a compass and the lighthouses as their allies, the tornado sailing athletes Iordanis Paschalides and Konstantinos Trigonis, will attempt crossing the Aegean, starting from Thessaloniki on July 4th and terminating their journey at Chania.
by Andrew Dowley
This is a fascinating sea marathon, where the two athletes aim at covering the Thessaloniki – Chania distance at the less possible time. With no help from advanced navigation systems, Trigonis and Paschalides will have to rely on the support of just a compass, the positioning of the stars, the lighthouses and a map. The two athletes will attempt something unique for this sport, since no-one has achieved something similar before.
'For us there is no turning back…after the first workouts we felt that what we are about to do is an achievement….Our feelings are incredible….We are either crazy or we just see things in a different way', Konstantinos explains.
The idea came up during the summer of 2009, when the two athletes took part at the Sailing Marathon for disabled people at Chios.
After the initial excitement, it was time for careful planning which combined with the athletes’ love for sea and their will for adventure, became the starting point for this exciting journey, which is expected to last from one-five to three days, according to the weather conditions.
The Aegean is considered one of the most difficult seas to cross, since the wind that usually blows during that period (meltemi), makes this journey a real challenge. Among the most important difficulties that they may be facing is sailing during the night, which is quite dangerous.
In order to accomplish this project, Konstantinos and Iordanis have followed strict preparation and they will rely on their knowledge, stamina, focus and daring spirit. We will have to see whether they will make it
A few words for the athletes:
- He started sailing in 1978 at N.A.O.K.TH. He has won 11 Greek, three Balkan, four European and two World Titles.
- He took part at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, where he was placed 12th at the Catamaran category (Tornado).
- He has taken part in five Sailing Marathons for disabled people from 2001 to 2006, with Charalambos Tokatlidis as a crew.
- He has started sailing at the age of nine, at the Thessaloniki Sailing Club.
- In 1995 he joined the Thessaloniki Yacht Club. He is an emeritus lieutenant of the Military Navy.
- He has won 20 National, three Balkan, one Mediterranean, five European and four World Titles at the categories 470 men and Catamaran (Tornado).
- So far he has taken part in four Olympic Game: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008.
- From 1995 to 2004 he has been among the top five at the world ranking. He is a permanent member of the National team since 1986.
- In 2001 he was voted by the Thessaloniki journalists as the best athlete of the town.
The two athletes have been taking part in athletic events as a team since 2005 and they are ranked among the top athletes in World and European Championships. Their most recent achievements in 2010 are the silver medal in the World Championship and the gold medal (third in a row) at the European Tornado Championship at Torbole (Lake Gards), Italy.
For more information and Live Tracking of the athletes’ course visit - www.redbull.gr
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6:50 PM Sat 2 Jul 2011 GMT
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