There’s been a lot of bad financial news out of Greece in recent months. Investment has been stifled and many projects have been put on hold. It’s a shame because the country has great sailing venues and a long, long maritime and sailing history. Sotiris Buseas, is passionate about Greece being a place where sailing can thrive. His long term dream is to see the America’s Cup held in a spectacular venue like Santorini and to promote other forms of the sport throughout the country.
The vehicle for this ambitious plan is GREEK CHALLENGE, which surprised many in the first Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in 2009. Since then, GREEK CHALLENGE has been fairly quiet. Unlike other America’s Cup super-teams like TEAMORIGIN and Emirates Team NZ, GREEK CHALLENGE has not been competing in the World Match Racing Tour or the Audi Med Cup. Instead, Buseas has been qorking away at building a base for the team and generating support in Greece for entry into the Louis Vuitton Series.
To that end, GREEK CHALLENGE has announced that the team will be based in the greek city of Kalamata.
The Mayor of Kalamata Mr. Panayotis E. Nikas confirmed today the commitment of the City to host GREEK CHALLENGE and other America’s Cup teams during their training sessions. Furthermore, GREEK CHALLENGE is put under the auspice of the City and becomes its first Official Supplier towards the 34th AC and the LVT. The Mayor along with GREEK CHALLENGE will shape the coastal development of the City and will prepare to host international regattas in the future.
The city has an international airport and an important harbour which part of it will be developed to host GREEK CHALLENGE. The wind conditions are perfect for AC sailing and the weather conditions are excellent throughout the year. In 1924 the Nautical Club of Kalamata was formed and since then is has developed many different sporting activities.
GREEK CHALLENGE has applied to the port authorities to provide an area of 1700 square meters of warehouse space and 5200 square meters of docks to develop its base and looking forward to the finalization of the process by the end of April in order to start developing its base.
Panayotis E. Nikas, Mayor of Kalamata…”
GREEK CHALLENGE’s impressive debut in LVPS last year convinced us of their determination and commitment to the cause. Hosting the team(s) in our port will only enhance our city’s tourist industry and boost economic activity while Kalamata will develop to become as one of the most important sailing centres in Greece and the Mediterranean. In 1821 this city triggered the Greek Independence War and its liberation was the beginning of the Hellenic Republic. In a parallel GREEK CHALLENGE’s attempt to the America’s Cup will break the national sailing borders.”
Sotiris Buseas, CEO of GREEK CHALLENGE…
”The Mayor and Municipality of Kalamata has been supportive from the first day we announced our goals early 2007. The Messenian bay is a natural amphitheatre which will help us develop our team due to its perfect sailing conditions while our members will experience the hospitality and taste the gourmet cuisine of Kalamata. We are breaking new ground here. The people of Kalamata will have the chance to observe the birth of the most interesting sport project in Greece. We thank the people of this great city for their warm welcome”