History of the Cup
The Cup Yiannis Karras is said to have set the basis for a more qualitative, competitive and widely known sailing event in 1981, but the North Aegean Cup was established in 1977 by the Yacht Club of Thessaloniki.
The event had its glories but also faced some difficult years only to manage a yet more impressive comeback. It was cancelled due to the 1978 earthquake in Thessaloniki. Later although firstly considered as a local event, it soon acquired a National status. The event was moved from Porto Carras to the island of Skopelos, back and forth, many times in order to to balance the needs of the fleet participating. Consequently, it became international. From 2002 until 2006 the event was cancelled and was reinstituted by the newly constituted Thessaloniki Offshore Racing Club, as North Aegean International Sailing Week.
This last years the event is probably the best, perhaps not in terms of the number of yachts participating, but as far as its qualitative improvement and its high and rigorous competition.
2006 was indeed a milestone year for the comeback of a sailing event which filled its friends with joy. The event attracted even more participants, with the best yachts and crews eager to race in the most advanced and technical race of Greece, even more upgraded in the following years by implementing the National X-35 Cup, the X-yachts Cup and the IRC Golden Cup and the National Offshore Sailing Championship.
'Yiannis Karras' Cup holders
The Yiannis Karras Cup was four times won by Turkish teams, whereas three yachts, namely BAXIMUS, MOGWAI and TUTTI FRUTTI, have two wins each. Skippers Dimitris Fessas, George Ertsos and Orjan Tuker have won the Cup three times racing on different yachts, whereas only two skippers Makis Kontogouris and Thanassis Baxevanis have claimed the Trophy twice with the same yacht.
In 1981 yacht ‘CHRISTINA’ owned by Thodoros Aggelopoulos was the winner of the first cup.
During the next three years the race took place at Skopelos with yacht SARACEN winning in 1982 skippered by Takis Pitsoulis.
In 1983 the cup was won by yacht LSD owned by Loretta Konstantinidi skippered by Achileas Dermatopoulos and in 1984 the yacht GLAFKI skippered by George Ertsos in his maiden appearance won first place.
From the year 1985 the event returned to Porto Carras and Dimitris Fessas won the cup skippering the yacht MOGWAI.
In 1986 victory for yacht BOHEM owned by Ntinos Stampoulis, but in 1987 Dimitris Fessas returned to challenge with MOGWAI and won again.
Next year PANDEMONIO skippered by Alkis Logothetis won and in 1989 Kostas Boutaris made a vigorous appearance with yacht MPOUKADOURA to win the Cup.
In 1990 the Turkish team of yacht INDIGO skippered by the famous sailor Orjan Tuker won the title and in 1991 Dimitris Fessas proved to be faster of all with yacht FIGHTING IRISH. In 1992 the Turkish team of Orjan Tuker returned with PROVEZZA ΙΙ, one of the fastest yachts in Europe, winning once more.
In 1993 Thodoros Aggelopoulos sent skipper Tasos Boudouris with yacht CRETA, an impressive, beautiful, blue racing yacht to successfully challenge the Turkish team.
In 1994, in the absence of CRETA the Turkish team with the new and faster PROVEZZA ΙΙΙ skippered by Orjan Tuker and Ergin Impre won the Cup again.
Giannis Kostopoulos in 1995 with OKYALOS VII, skippered by George Ertsos finishes first and in 1996 Stauros Tsavalos, having participated in most of the events until then won with ERYTOS and Kostas Manthos as skipper.
In 1997 George Ertsos with Giannis Kostopoulos’ OKYALOS ΙΧ won for the third time.
The following two years 1998 and 1999 Makis Kontogouris with yacht TUTTI FRUTTI won both races at Skopelos where the event took place.
In 2000 the race was hosted in N. Marmaras with the larger participation ever as the event was combined with the Greece-Turkey Friendship Cup. Thodoros Tsoulfas on the helm brought the yacht ALPHA CARD ELECTRON first. In 2001 when few yachts participated in the event, the Turkish yacht RETURN OF IDEFIX won with Halouk Mpampatzan and Nasli Impre on helm.
During years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 the event did not take place but in 2006 when the event was re-organised, yacht GUAPA skippered by Apostolos Leonidopoulos won first place.
In 2007 George Andreadis with MELITI V, a just launched yacht, crewed mostly by professionals, won the race.
In 2008 yacht ACES owned by Venetis-Karageorgiou-Pananakis-Hatzikiriakaki won the cup.
IMX-40 ELLINIXX, owned by Christos Panagiotou and Dimitris Diamantis, skippered by Stergios Leontaridis won the cup IN 2009.
Thanassis Baxevanis with BAXIMUS managed a breathtaking victory in 2010 event, winning the Yannis Karras Cup at the last race, by just 0,250 points from second placed yacht.
The 2011 event was a milestone for the Cup, as it was combined with the National Offshore Championship appointed to the hosting Club to Organise. The Yiannis Karras Cup was won by the very competitive crew of the Czech FIRST 40.7 'Tri Sestry', whereas in the National Championship ORCi class was won by the GS 42, 'Meliti-Musto', skippered by owner G. Andreadis, with Jeff Madrigalli in tactics, IRC class by the Farr 52, OPTIMUM III, of P. Livas and N. Lazos and ORCi<700 by the First 305, QUASAR, of S. Panoutsopoulos.
In 2012, the X-35 event ΒAXIMUS dominated, in a difficult, due to the economic crisis, era of the race, not allowing any question for the overall winner in both IRC and ORCi. Thanassis Baxevanis and his sailing school's crew won the Cup for the second time.
For the 2013 event, the Thessaloniki Offshore racing Club choose the venue of N. Marmamas, Halkidiki. The Cup was won fy the Benetteau First 34.7 ANATELLOUSA AFRODITI, skippered by Giorgos Avgerinos, who also won it for the second consecutive time in 2014, when the event returned at Skopelos Island.
The summer of 2015, the peak economic crisis in Greece, led to the cancellation of the event.
However, in 2016, the Thessaloniki Offshore Racing Club, together with the Nautical Club Of Skopelos, managed a very successfull event, won by the Elan 40 FAIRYTALE, skippered by Aristos Chatsistamatiou, leaving Anatellousa Aforoditi in second place.