Greek 'tornado' champs log unique feat, cross Aegean non-stop without navigation systems

Greece's champion tornado sailing team Iordanis Paschalidis and Costas Trigonis added another feat to their log on Friday as they completed an unprecedented crossing of the Aegean without navigation instruments, arriving at the Old Port of Chania, Crete after sailing for 72 hours guided only by the stars, a compass and the lights of lighthouses.
Their journey began on Monday (July 4), when they set sail from Thessaloniki.
The three-time European Tornado Championships winners covered the 540 nautical mile distance without any stops and without the assistance of sophisticated navigation instruments.
The conditions proved exceptionally tough, while a lack of wind made their mission even more difficult.
"Even if it had taken us a week, we still would have finished. There was no way that we would stop. We had promised it to ourselves," Trigonis said after completing the venture.
This sea marathon was unique for this sport, as no one has achieved anything similar to it before, coupled by the fact that the Aegean is considered one of the most difficult seas to cross.
The idea came up came up during the summer of 2009, when the two athletes took part in the Sailing Marathon for disabled people on Chios. After the initial excitement, it was time for careful planning which, combined with the athletes' love for sea and their will for adventure, became the starting point for this exciting journey.
Iordanis Paschalidis has won 11 Greek, three Balkan, four European and two World titles, and has taken part in five Sailing Marathons for disabled people from 2001 to 2006, and in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Constantine Trigonis has won 20 national, three Balkan, one Mediterranean, five European and four World titles in the categories 470 men and Catamaran (Tornado), and has taken part in four consecutive Olympic Games: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
The two athletes have been taking part in athletic events as a team since 2005, and are ranked among the top athletes in World and European Championships.
Their most recent achievements in 2010 are the silver medal in the World Championship and the gold medal (third in a row) at the European Tornado Championship at Torbole (Lake Garda), Italy.

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