That time we felt we needed to explain Kevlar
Atalanti II


Type of Sail: Genoa #1 (Light)

Age: about 32 years old

Material: Kevlar* yarns bonded in Mylar film

Located: Athens

Distance Travelled: about 500-800nm

Places most visited: Athens, Phaleron Bay, St. George’s Island, Modhi, Poros and Hydra.

Sail Number: GRE 49018

Built in 1982 by Chris Oniall, on a design by Joubert and Nivelt, at Olympic Yachts in Lavrio she was the second Atalanti team half-toner. She is the only yacht to win a World Championship eleven years apart, in 1982 and 1993. The head coach of Emirates Team New Zealand that raced in the last 4 America’s Cups raced in the 1982 Worlds and probably trimmed this sail.

Reminds us of: Teachers and friends who let you in on the sea. These were the first sailors from Greece to race offshore boats at an international level. By the time most of them retired to local coastal racing they had brought back more medals in 15 years than anyone in the previous 60.

*Poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide or Kevlar is kg for kg about 5 times stronger than steel at a fraction of it’s weight. Kevlar’s strength and light weight has found application mostly in bullet-proof vests and helmets. Sailmakers loved it because it was stronger and less stretchy in the 70’s and 80’s than any other commercially available yarn.

Tip: If you see yellowish coloured sails they are most probably are made from Kevlar and they probably are more than 25 years old.