SPORTS

From Amorgos to Rhodes, plans unveiled for August Aegean Regatta

The 8th Aegean Regatta, one of the largest international sailing events staged in this country, will start on the island of Amorgos on August 16, organizers announced this week. The easternmost Cycladic island will host boats and crews for the beginning of the race, which is on a Saturday, a press conference heard Thursday. Boats will then set sail to the Dodecanese islands of Kalymnos, Nisyros and Rhodes. The race is scheduled to finish on Saturday, August 23. Many crews are expected to participate and competition will be strong, probably more so than any other year. Merchant Marine and Island Policy Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis stated that «besides the sporting aspect of the race, the Aegean Regatta also has two other objectives: to reinforce tourism on the islands it visits and to enrich the cultural map of the Aegean.» Tourism on the islands that the race stops at has been shown to increase the following year, while the cultural programs that accompany the sailing race allow island inhabitants to participate at events they would otherwise not have been able to attend, explained Voulgarakis. His deputy, Panos Kammenos, added that «this and all other sailing races are extremely important for the Aegean Islands, particularly those that are smaller and more remote, as they bring them into contact with athletes from all over the world.»