Many a bucket list has the country of Greece in its top spot and rightly so with miles of picturesque coastline and a rich cultural heritage. For sailors, the allure of sailing the Mediterranean and exploring the islands of this country make it a must do destination. Athens Sailing Academy takes advantage of its proximity to pristine sailing grounds to teach students on multi day cruises.
ASA spoke with Athens Sailing Academy about its school, Greece as a destination, and its programs.
Where They Sail
The Greek Islands are amongst the best sailing grounds in the world. There are over 3000 islands with a total coastline that is larger than all around Africa. The school operates from the island of Poros just off the city Athens. We sail in the Saronic and Agrolic gulfs and along the Southern Peloponnese coast. Here you can anchor in secluded bays with gorgeous beaches, tie up the school yacht in small quaint fishing villages, or visit ancient Greek archaeological sites in the Greek islands.
What They Teach
Taking time to sail is difficult in these times of work and family commitments. The ASA Sailing School has designed these sailing courses to give you the maximum from the days you may have available. Each course will include an ASA sailing school theory exam, as well as one or more ASA sailing school practical sailing exams. The training materials books etc. are of the quality you would expect from a leader in sailing education. The school is based on Poros Island during the summer months; it’s here where we teach students how to sail. The ASA now has many courses online so that you can practice your theory before you arrive at your training location. Or you can bring the books with you and study as you progress through the course.
Athens Sailing Academy offers 3 main courses .
ASA 101+103: The best course if you are a novice and want to learn how to sail. It is also the stepping stone to acquiring your Skippers license. It is a one week course.
ASA 104+105. The course is designed as a follow on from the Yacht Crew module. It is a 10-day intensive sailing class for experienced sailors who have fulfilled the ASA prerequisites to become a bareboat skipper.
ASA 106. The course is designed for advanced sailors who plan on going offshore and making long passages. It deals with passage making and long-distance sailing includes advanced navigation and long passage planning.
For our advanced sailors, we run Mile building cruises where we teach night sailing, watch keeping, and advanced navigation.
Meet Their Instructors
Prior to the COVID situation, we operated a team of 2 full-time instructors and 2 part-time instructors, plus a team of maintenance professionals. As this will be the first year back after a year off, we will be operating a full-time instructor and 1 part-time instructor.
Our full-time instructor is Jonathan Chandler, Coming from a long line of sailors, 3 generations of Royal Navy, he and his father built his first sailing dinghy when he was 7 years old. He is half-English and half-Greek, taking advantage of both worlds as he speaks fluent Greek. Having sailed in many parts of the world, over the years, John has thousands of sea miles logged.
This year we welcome back Alex Van De Post as our part time instructor, he has licenses as an RYA and ASA instructor. He will run classes this summer. When he is not in Greece he is a Physical education teacher in Holland. He teaches middle school grades, 7 – 10 year olds.
In addition, we also offer special courses tailored to couples and special groups.
PRIVATE SAILING COURSE means you have your own teaching yacht and do not have to share with strangers. It also means that you have your own dedicated instructor. The instructor sleeps on board the yacht as they are responsible for the safety of the yacht and your party. Private tuition is offered in 1 week classes.
SAILING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS can be tailor designed around the Greek Islands for you, with all the goodies included: skipper, hostess, luxury yacht, shore side entertainment. A few days at sea, with an extended stay in Athens to see the ancient city or a classic seaside beach and island combination. We now can offer wine tours around various vineyards in the Southern Peloponnese where you can sample some of the Greek wines now becoming famous worldwide.
The school is uniquely located in one of the best cruising grounds in the world. The Aegean offers 5 distinctly different island groups, each with its own wind patterns and sea conditions. The school specializes in teaching novices and beginners as well as the more advanced sailors. When you are not sailing, you are not far away from Ancient Greece. Each island, fishing village has its own special story and place in History. You will have plenty of time to explore and discover these ports.
Our staff is international, with English Dutch and Greek nationalities. We are all multilingual speaking up to 3-4 languages. The school teaches in English.
When looking for a special vacation that challenges you, and gives you time to absorb some history and beautiful scenery, Greece and the Aegean will meet your dreams.