In what maritime circles refer to as shipping industry’s biennial mini Olympics, last weekend’s Posidonia Games lived up to its reputation as a popular sporting extravaganza with a total of 2.500 shipping professionals from all over the world showcasing their sailing skills, football finesse, golfing gusto and love for recreational running at four different events designed to promote camaraderie, collaboration and team spirit ahead of Posidonia Exhibition 2016.
Such has been the popularity of this year’s Posidonia Games that hundreds ended in the waiting list of the different events including the Posidonia Shipsoccer Tournament which was contested by a total of 28 teams on Sunday evening at Panionios Stadium, a Greek Superleague venue. From shipowners to logistics operations managers, everyone had a few nice words to say: “We are very happy to be here and play football with friends and colleagues and have some competitive spirit and enjoy the day. We will be participating again in two years time as we have done for the last six years. Shipsoccer exemplifies the values of team spirit and collaboration amongst team members and the opposition as well,” said Leo Polemis of Remi Marine.
Alexandros Tsavliris from Salvage Group, said: “It is a pleasure to be part of this tournament which we have been supporting with our participation since its inception. We would like to continue supporting the Ship Soccer Tournament and Posidonia as a whole as it gives us the opportunity not only to network but also to create new friendships.”
Posidonia Shipsoccer’s sponsors Swift Marine, was one of the participating teams. Papagianopoulos Georgios, Operations Manager said: “This is e very important event that promotes team spirit, collaboration, networking between shipping executives from around the world. The organization of the event is just superb and we are already looking forward to the next Posidonia Shipsoccer in two years from now.”
The Posidonia Games kicked off at Faliron Bay when some 53 crews plunged into the wavy Aegean waters for the 8 th Posidonia Cup, an unforgettable yacht race described by some competitors as the biggest and most prestigious yachting event held in Greece.
Xidarakos Georgios, Atlas Marine: “We are proud to participate in Posidonia Cup and win our category. Sailing is a great sport which connects body and mind with the sea and every two years my team and I eagerly anticipate the advent of Posidonia Exhibitions in order to start preparing for the sailing event. The weather was amazing, the route was exceptional and we truly enjoyed a great day out.”
Other participants praised Posidonia Cup as a great experience stating that the large participation of crews from all over the world was incredible exceeding that of any other sailing event ever held in Greek waters. “It is really impressive an achievement which should be repeated in two years’ time,” one of the skippers said. “Posidonia Cup is an amazing world class sailing event which helps raise the profile of sailing as a sport to Greek audiences and promotes Greece as a sailing destination to international tourists,” said another.
And from the azure waters of the Saronicos Bay to the green fairways of Glyfada Golf Club where 115 players teed off on Sunday morning for the 3rd Posidonia Golf Tournament, an 18-hole Shotgun contested by 29 teams. On behalf of the event’s sponsors, Nikolas Martinos, Thenamaris, said: “Thenamaris and Costamare cooperated together again this year to sponsor what is becoming an increasingly popular Posidonia event. The Posidonia golf tournament and evening reception provide a unique opportunity for business conversations to take place in a relaxed environment, and welcome our guests prior to the kick-off of what is a very busy week for all of us.”
Costis Constantakopoulos, Costamare added:“This is the 3rd consecutive year that we sponsor the Posidonia Golf Tournament together with Thenamaris and the support of Costa Navarino. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet old and make new friends within the shipping industry from around the world, welcome them in our country and celebrate the exciting Posidonia atmosphere”.
For the first time this year, Posidonia Games launched a running event which was an instant hit from the word go as over 1,100 runners participated at the 5kms race which took place in the centre of Piraeus on Saturday morning in what was seen as a symbolic return of Posidonia to its cradle. Mayor of Piraeus, Ioannis Moralis, said: “The importance of today’s race is very significant for Piraeus because it is the deep desire of every citizen of this port city that Posidonia returns home one day. We hope that this desire will become a reality one day.”