It has been over 86 years since the Yacht Club of Greece ( NOE ) was founded in Piraeus’s Mikrolimano port. It is a Club with great history and one to which sailing in Greece owes its tremendous development. Indeed, thanks to NOE sailing is now considered an Olympian’s sport.
When a group of dedicated young sailors came together, their vision was to create a Club where friends of all marine sports could meet and sail their yachts. NOE was founded on November 1st 1933 by distinguished Athenian sailors and was initially named the « Yacht Club of Athens ». In 1936, the Club became known as the Yacht Club of Greece, a name that it retains to this day. However, between 1940 and 1973, during the reign of King George II and later Kings Paul and Constantine, all three fervent yachtsmen and admirals of the Club, the Club carried the label of « Royal Yacht of Greece ».
The Club is located on the peninsula of Piraeus, at the ancient Athenian military port of «Mounihia». This port is one of three historic naval stations of the Ancient Athenian Democracy. It is small and picturesque and, despite still retaining its ancient name, is now best known as Mikrolimano. In fact the Club property includes the hill on top of which where the fortifications garding the port of Mounihia on which the present day Club facilities are build.
The Yacht Club’s main building is situated at the top of the hill of the Piraeus peninsula, at the southwestern end on Mikrolimano. The view from the building is breathtaking, stretching from the Faliron and Saronik gulf to the islands of Salamina, Aigina and Poros and back to Athens and the surrounding mountains. At a closer angle, the Club is surrounded by beautiful groomed gardens. The Club buildings include 3 separate dining and mess facilities one of which is particularly designed for casual use by athletes and members. The Club includes areas for ceremonies and presentations while fixed video camera at the top of the Club mast can view the sailing course areas and zoom right in to the contestants. This is used for recording of the event and live presentation on video walls.
Additional buildings stands on the port itself and have been specially designed for the athletes, to be used during competitions and other events.
In brief, the following facilities are available:
1. The main building and the port facilities where, reception rooms, restaurant, bars, lecture rooms, and ceremonial halls can be found.
2. The port site comprising of allocated lots for members’ boats, cranes for boats launching, three large storage hangers for yachts, storage rooms for yachts.
3. A series of boats including Yngling, Optimist, Lightning, 420, 470, 49er, 2.4., Europe, Laser, etc. Are at members’ disposal.
4. 7 pnewmatic speed / work boats for course purposes.
5. A number of boats of committee and observation.
The achievements of Greek Sailors at both National and International Competitions are important and noteworthy. The peak was reached in 1960 at Olympic Games in Rome where the then Crown Prince Constantine and his two-man crew of Odysseus Eskitzoglou and George Zaimis, won the Gold Medal with their DRAGON type «Niriefs». They were NOE members and this was the first gold medal Greece had won since 1896.
The Yacht Club’s aim has and always will be to promote sailing and nautical tourism in Greece, to encourage equatic sports and to provide entertainment to its members. It currently boasts a total of 1.400 registered members. Indeed, the Club attracts many distinguished guests thanks to its beautiful location, its gardens and facilities.
Today the Yacht Club of Greece is the largest sailing Club with participation of victories in both inshore and offshore races. Mr. G. Andreadis V.I.P. of the I.S.A.F. is one of the most distinguished sailors of the world.
From its first President Antony Benakis to today´s President Alexandros Papadongonas, from Royal Yacht of Greece to Yacht Club of Greece, from 1933 to 2018, times have changed, the world has changed. However, the members of the Yacht Club of Greece remain constant in their passion for Sailing and their love of their Club.