Cadets and conscripts


Type of Sail: Mainsail

Age: 25-30 years old

Material: Polyester sailcloth

Lived in: The Hellenic Navy Boat House, Mounihia harbor

Distance Travelled: 10000-20000 n.m

Places most visited: The Aegean below Skyros

This is the mainsail or the Hellenic Navy “hospital ship” Maistros (the north-west wind). It’s not really a hospital ship. It’s a sail training ship for Hellenic Navy cadets but in times of war it unmercifully becomes a hospital ship. For three decades more or less almost every sailboat racer in Greece that was conscripted into the navy for their compulsory military service had to race an Aegean Rally with this boat or its sister Sorokos (South wind).

The Bob Miller* designed yacht from the 1970’s pushed so much water that after 12-14 knots of boat speed downwind spinnakers would tear from the weight of this non-planning lead mine. But we loved it. As a conscript you got to sail for 10 ten days instead of cleaning toilets or washing dishes. The officers in charge were almost always Olympic sailors and there was a ton to learn from them. So take care of this sail that so many competitive sailors learnt to love as the best, cheapest, sailing vacation and escape from drudgery they could get their hands on.

*Bob Miller wasn’t famous or successful for his designs. When he changed his name to Ben Lexcen and designed the 12mr Australia II his position improved.