Nearly 100 shipping people enjoyed a stunning day of cycling and entertainment in the green mountains west of Athens the weekend before Posidonia kicked off.

A decade after they first had the idea of an alternative to the traditional golf and tennis tournaments, Interunity’s Dimitris Nikolakis and Sokana’s George Mangos organised an event that thrilled shipping’s fast-growing community of cyclists.

“Thank you for the epic event,” said participant Michailos Georgopoulos of Metz Maritime. “It was by far the best adventure I’ve had on the bike and I’m still buzzing!”

Based around the village of Thermo, north of Patras, the day’s racing took in one or two laps of an 83 km route with three stiff climbs each lap. An earlier plan to have a separate 160 km route was cancelled due to landslides over the winter.

The peloton of riders from Greece and across Europe and Scandinavia rolled behind the lead car at 7:30 am on a perfect Greek morning of sun, blue skies and no wind.

Riders were blown away by the event. Jamie Freeland, also from Metz and who rode the full distance, said it was an “incredible experience”, and Goran Rostad, head of offshore at SSY, said it was “a wonderful weekend”.

Participants made donations to two charities: ELPIDA — the Association of Friends of Children with Cancer — and the environmental charity Common Seas.

Race director Ioannis Papanikolaou from IG Cycling added: “Your enthusiasm and support made the event a remarkable success.”

Among the many riders were Ian Beveridge and his team from Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement; Simon Smart, Tysers; Nick Wood, Affinity (Shipping); Nick Embiricos; Peter Weernink, SwissMarine; Tom Whadcock, Thomas Miller; Nicoletta Meli; Stephanie Pissis; Rob Reid, Poten & Partners; Matt Neale, Clarksons; and Stefanos Michalis, Goldfish Capital, to name just a few.

One added that it was an “amazing performance by all to get this event up and running. Blown away by everyone and the region”.

The first home in the long event was Zisis Soulios, with TradeWinds’ Julian Bray first back among those who rode one lap.

Lead sponsor Sokana was supported by an additional 24 partners, including KPI OceanConnect, Aspida Travel, Fleetwork and the Marshall Islands Registry.

Mangos and Nikolakis hope to make the event an annual rendezvous for shipping and be back with another edition ahead of Posidonia in 2026.