One Design Specialists (Akylas Drougkas)

The story of Hansa sailing in Greece goes back in 2002 when Panayotis Tsinganos, a visionary disabled sailor, has reached out to Australian sailors for help and has founded Sailability Hellas, located in its capital, Athens. Sailability has then reached state recognition and was named Sailing 4 all. With a fleet of 2 x 303 Hansa, 1 x  Liberty and 4 x 2.3 Hansa, Sailing 4 all is now the country’s leading club for disabled people and is actively pursuing the growth of disabled sailing in the country.

With its ups and downs, from 2002 to 2014, the club has been faithful to its purpose and has achieved to organize the first ever Hansa National championship in 2014 and to include Hansa in the official program of the Athens Eurolymp Week, the leading dinghy local championship, to be sailed every year.

Ever since, the growth story of the class continues. In 2017, with the help of another disabled sailor Akis Makris, another 2 boats are bought and aimed to create another disabled sailing center in the country, this time up north, at the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki. Following this, another two boats have been donated to the club, a Hansa 2.3 and a Hansa 303.

Thus, in the time being, two clubs have active Hansa fleets, Sailing 4 all in Athens with seven boats and 14 sailors and Nautical Club of Thessaloniki with five boats and 10 sailors. As a result, Greek sailors started to emerge as participations at world championship level, starting 2016.

As a recent positive development that will further enhance the local Hansa fleet, the Hellenic Sailing Federation with a sponsorship by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, is rolling out a three year development program aimed to grow disabled sailing in five new cities every year. The initiative will be run with 20 new Hansa boats that will then be located in the clubs that kick off a disabled sailing program.