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A professional or not- feel the thrill of water sports!

14 August 2009 / 16:08:16  GRReporter
2867 reads

Surrounded by water, Greece is a popular touristic destination, without an inch of sea-side space that hasn't been utilized in some way. Therefore, you would believe me if I say that Greece is a country with great traditions in water sports. An example- the Greek national women's water polo team, which only ten days ago came back from the World Swimming Championship in Rome, having won fourth place after a dramatic battle with the Russian team. This is the best ranking the national women's water polo team has ever achieved. The success of course is a result of serious preparation and good strategy on the part of the coach- Georgios Morfesi.

You have probably heard of Nikos Kaklamanakis, who won the gold medal on the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and the silver one in the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. Greece's champion keeps going on with his sports carrier and you can find a busy schedule for 2009 on his website. This high affinity they have for water is what made Greeks skilled swimmers- most Greeks I know can swim really well, and some even own a boat and are professional sailors. It would most likely be of interest to everyone to see a 30-year old woman, a dentist during the week, pulling ropes, rolling up pulleys and scampering around a boat on weekends. The whole crew is smiling at the challenges of the sea and races other, just as beautiful, boats. As far as one can see, the surface is covered in sails and flags, and captain shouts can be heard all around. The variety of people headed at the sea does not end with their professions. They don't talk a lot, they use few words, they are not afraid of storms, rough waters or fearful nights in the sea.

I was given a small white hat, with "Poseidon" written on it- the name of the team. After an hour in the sea, I made a decision that the handrails are a really comfortable place to hold on to, not to move and ignore the fact that you are half-dipped in water; after all, what matters is the thrill, the boots and the lined jacket. If you as well feel the urge to race the wind and the water, you may try extreme sports, such as sliding down a steep river with another six people in an inflatable boat, or swim long distance not only in the pool, but also in the open sea. Surfing of windsurfing can be an amazing experience too, especially when the waves are good and one manages to fight their fear of flying, losing balance and falling; then you have to chase after your surf and the whole experience contains a major thrill that only those with the sunburned faces can tell about.

 

This is where you can find information about windsurfing all around the world:

http://www.internationalwindsurfing.com/; as you will find out here, competitions are being organized from the beginning of June to the end of February, because of the appropriate weather conditions. From October 8 to October 11 you can observe an interesting contest with a curious name on Naxos Island- "The Prince of Naxos."

If you are a beginner and you feel that you need a dictionary on the "sea" terms, I recommend a visit to one of the best sailing centers, where the Sailing Sports Federation is also located. The website informs that Athens will host the world sailing championship again on October 5 to 9.

HELLENIC SAILING FEDERATION
Marina Delta Falirou
Athens, Greece, http://www.eio.gr/indexeng.htm

In case you want to try surfing, in "Koros Anavisos" club you can find everything you need- a store, a school and a lot of people sharing heir love for the sea. http://www.kouros-club.gr/

Another club offering good facilities, such as windsurfing school, water skiing and a variety of ways to spend your leisure time is "Moraitis Sports" club, http://www.moraitis-sports.gr. If you are not in an active mood, you ca always rent a yacht for your vacation. For more information:

http://cruise-vacation.greek-islands-cruises.info/.

There is no traffic in the sea, as opposed to highways, except for the ports. You can stop wherever you wish or simply chase the sun, after all this is your summer vacation.

Dilyana Ivanova

Tags: Greece water sports vacation on yacht hobbies
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