Our story

About us

Our story

Thanos Vakalopoulos started his sports career at Sailing Club in Thessaloniki in 1964.
For a period of time of ten years he took part competing in categories Optimist, 4.20 and 4.70, obtaining the National Championship in 4.20 in 1972, winning at the same time the Inter-collective Championship of the aforementioned categories.
With the end of his military service in 1978, he started coaching, establishing the first Laser and Opti
mist school in Porto Rafti – Attica.
Returning to Thessaloniki in 1979, he crews the 470 class with Dinos Lontzetidis and at the same time they start experimenting for the construction and improvement of Dinghy and Windsurfing sails.
From 1981 to 1989 he was the General Manager of Windsurfing Schools for the English companies Sun Med and Red Wing Travel of British Airways, based in Vasiliki, Lefkada.
From 1990 to 1993 he participated in races with Simon Morgan’s crew in the HC16 class and at the same time worked as a trainer in Catamaran and Laser 4000.
In 1994, he returns to Thessaloniki and works at the Elvstrom sailloft, while at the same time he participates and wins the first place in the Porto Carras Cup in the IMS A Class category.
In 1995 he won second place in the Porto Carras Cup and first in the National Championship in the same category.
In 1996 he leaves Elvstrom and returns to Wildwind in Lefkada for preparation and participation in International HC16 meetings with Simon Morgan.
In 1997, returning to Thessaloniki, he collaborated again with Dinos Lontzetidis, who re-opened the DL Sails sailloft that had been closed since 1990, working with him offering expertise in the manufacture of cruising sails and offshore  racing.

At the same time, he participates in Catamaran races, winning

• 1997 first place in the National Catamaran Cup and the National Catamaran Championship with HC16.
• 1998 first place in the National Catamaran Cup and the National Catamaran Championship with Tornado.
• 1998 first place in the National Tornado Championship
• 1998 first place in the Nacra Open -European Championship with Nacra 6

The experience and knowledge of all these years pushed him to start a sports department at the Catamaran Toroneos Sailing Club in Perea-Thessaloniki, which until that time operated at an amateur level, with only adult boat owners, giving the opportunity to young children to get to know sailing through a catamaran.
After the World Tornado Championship in Brazil in 1998, he stops his racing activity due to professional commitments.
In 1999, for the first time in Greece, Catamaran training for People with Special Needs begins at the Catamaran Sailing Club Toroneos.
In 2000, he leaves the DL sails Sailing loft and starts with Stergios Ioannidis the Ostria Marine Center where a Sail loft is also created and deals exclusively with it.

Got back into Tornado racing by winning first place in the Nationals Tornado Championships in 2000 and 2001.

He also wins the first place at the Athens Eurolymp in 2001 where his participation as an athlete in the Tornado category ends definitively.

At the same time, research into the design of Tornado sails begins.
In 2002 he participates and wins the first place in theNational Catamaran Championship with a Hobie Cat FX One single-handed boat, where it is his last participation as an athlete, since he stops due to professional obligations.
Having a fairly fast set of mainsails and jib on a Tornado boat that uses the second crew of the “Toronaeus” and stands out focuses more on the development of the spinnaker.
On the eve of the 2004 Olympics he manages to have the fastest spinnaker in the fleet, which is unfortunately destroyed when it is painted in the colors of the Greek Flag after the measurement. Due to the fact that its replacement with the same spinnaker is impossible, the Greek crew is forced to run in the races with the second spinnaker of another manufacturer that has already passed the measurement.

After the Olympic games, the new crew of  I. Paschalidis-K. Trigonis –  is created and everything starts on a new basis.
It is agreed that the crew will run exclusively with “OS3” sails and start with only the mainsail and jib pending the change of the boat’s mast, since after this change the mainsails will have to be re-designed.
In the same year, Ostria Marine Center equips the sailloft with BSG’s Sail Pack design program which you consider to be the most advanced in sail design, as well as with Aeronaut’s Plotter Cuter, a machine certified for the accuracy of repeated cutting of sails and accurate data transfer from design program.

This enables faster development in the design and manufacture of racing sails, enabling the Greek crew to star in the coming years, bringing important distinctions.