Savvas Savvaidis

Where better to stage the spectacular Classic Yacht Regatta than on the cosmopolitan island of Spetses? Perfectly positioned in the Argosaronic Gulf, the island is home to an extravagant show of fine yachts and vintage craft, which compete in special categories before an avid crowd of sailing aficionados.

Now in its 9th year, the four-day event is the darling of classic yacht sailing fans, with many international competitors travelling from far afield just to take part. Organised by the Nautical Club of Greece under the Aegis of the Municipality of Spetses, there is something really special about the event and it is no surprise that its popularity continues to grow.

Imagine a flock of white canvas fluttering in the breeze against the bright blue Mediterranean sky while the rippling waves carry vintage hulls down the straits to victory in a race containing showmanship, excitement and sheer beauty. The Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta is a wonder to behold, offering the spectator the opportunity to see a wide range of exquisite craft doing what they do best — sail! For the skippers and their crew, it is the chance to pit their skills against some of the best competitors in the world while enjoying the thrill of the race in a fantastic location. This is a serious event for many, with top Olympic athletes and sailing professionals regularly taking part. The categories are divided into Classic Yachts, Aegean Schooners & Traditional Work Boats, Traditional Open Boats, Family Open Boats (Dinghies) and Contemporary Classic Yachts, with the winners in each receiving their awards at the emblematic Poseidonion Grand Hotel, an elegant reminder of the island’s glamorous past.

While vintage vessels of brightly polished wood and towering masts sit in the little harbour next to ultra-slick modern craft decked out in the latest in performance hi-tech, one is reminded of the island’s boatbuilding tradition and its inherent connection with the sea. A commercial power in the Greece of the 19th century, Spetses continues to build and repair traditional ‘kaikis’, which also take part in the Regatta. Sailing conditions in the region are just perfect for this type of event, with mild winds and well protected seas graced by the warm Greek sunshine spreading across the straits. It’s really a sight to be seen and whether taking part as a contestant or attending the Regatta as a spectator, there is a buzz that you just won’t find anywhere else.

Cocktail parties and champagne receptions undoubtedly bring that extra pizzazz to the whole affair, with participants dressing up in their finest to celebrate in true aristocratic style. It is though, first and foremost, a celebration of the Greek seafaring tradition, international cooperation and the spirit of fair play.

A selection of Sotheby’s Greece Properties on Spetses:

Azzaro Manor

A gorgeous two-storey manor house located on the cosmopolitan island of Spetses, benefitting from a large 647 sq.m. plot, split over two independent floors (one elevated ground level and one upper level).

Cavo Sereno
This is a stunning, 844 sq.m. property located on the cosmopolitan island of Spetses. Its privileged position offers unsurpassed sea views and breathtaking vistas from an impressive 35,000 sq.m. plot, just five minutes away from the Old Harbour.