This summer, the usually quiet waters of the Ionian Sea will once again roil with ancient energy—a dauntless fleet of sailing ships racing toward the shores of Corfu. A vision straight from the pages of Apollonius, it could easily be Jason and his Argonauts outracing the Colchian fleet in their famous arrival at the island. The name of Jason’s ship, Argo, means “swift,” and these vessels are all worthy of the name.
They are the world’s top, state-of-the-art Maxi 72 class racing yachts, each crewed by a team of modern-day Argonauts vying for victory in the inaugural Corfu Challenge, July 3-8, 2017. The concept of the race was inspired by two good friends, George Sakellaris and George Courmouzis, who conceived the idea of a Maxi72 Class race in Greece. Their goal was to bring new challenges to the sport—new experiences that would at the same time reconnect sailing to its oldest historical roots. Together they shared this vision with top racing yacht owners and were able to convince them over a period of six years to come to Greece.