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Yacht Club of Spetses: Love for the Sea

Spetses is an island with a long maritime tradition that is inextricably linked to Greek shipping. The Yacht Club of Spetses (YCS) was founded with a view to enhancing water sports and introducing youths to the sea. Andonis Bordonis, the Chairman of the Board of the YCS, discusses their efforts to promote Greek seamanship.

How did the idea of the YCS conceived? Spetses is a place with a long and important maritime tradition. The water element surrounding us is inextricably linked with Spetsiots. Our history was established in the sea, our dreams were born in it; we owe our very existence to it. Therefore, we cherish it, respect it and recognise the important role it has played in our lives. The Spetsiot’s innate passion for the sea and the lack of a Yacht Club on Spetses prompted us to take the steps to establish the YCS. I am very happy that this need is currently taking shape. The Club already has over 90 members, which bodes well for the future.

How does the YCS promote water sports? The main purpose of the YCS is to promote the ideals of sailing, to cultivate the Spetsiots’ love of the sea. We aim to bring youngsters in contact with the marine environment and encourage them to develop a naval-sport spirit, to comprehend the joys and outlets offered by the sea, and to appreciate its importance. The assistance offered by the foundation of the Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses (AKSS) has proved invaluable. The five sailboats, three rowing boats and the boathouse donated to the Club by the AKSS form the foundation upon which the YCS can build. The response of the people of Spetses to the project has been particularly affecting. A large group of volunteers from the island has worked very hard to ensure the boathouse renovations are complete before the start of the sailing season. Our interest is centred on the new generation. Our priority at this time is to secure 4-6 Optimists and 1 Lightning and to start offering sailing lessons to children as soon as possible.

Are the shipyards on Spetses of interest to the Club? The shipyards must be rescued. It was in these that Spetses sailboats and the ships that battled for the liberation of our nation were built. Wood shipbuilding is an ancient art, inseparably linked with the tradition and history of Spetses. No Spetsiot wants this art to be lost. We don’t want to the few ship builders that remain to lose their jobs. We see Spetses becoming a hub for the art of wood shipbuilding, either by founding a school or organising educational seminars and workshops. There are various thoughts and ideas in place to assist in achieving this objective. In general, in addition to sport activities, the main objective of the YCS is to create and run educational and training programs that are based on our great maritime heritage.