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Starting today, the starting cannon for the first ever Cretan Union Cup will announce not only a great regatta, but a celebration of 100 years of Greek unity. A century ago, Crete united with mainland Greece in a momentous union, and this morning in Chania (some boats below) a centuries old sailing tradition will be reignited.
Crete, the cradle of European civilization since the time of the Bronze Age Minoans, is now the scene of a renewed pledge of oneness in between mother Greece and the fabled Island of King Minos. The regatta, the first event of this kind ever organized on the North coast of Crete, is a race in between the holy triad of cities along the Northern shore of that bright Island. Skippers will sail between .Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos in a fast reinactment of sailing routes established before the Alexander the Great, before the Romans, and long ahead of Phonecian sea dominance in the Med.
The legendary birthplace of Zeus himself, is today one of the world's most sought after touristic destinations. A land so noted for its healthy climate, diet and lifestyle, is also a great sporting paradise as well. Guest of Crete can expect to see all the Island turning out in celebration, and the festive atmosphere would seem to be a perfect exclamation point to the end of Summer there.
This joint initiative by; the Region of Crete, the Hellenic Sailing Federation, the Nautical Club Gaziou Crete, the Nautical Club of Chania, the Sailing Club of Chania, the Sailing Club of Rethymno, the Sailing Club of Heraklion, the Sailing Club of Ag. Nikolaos, and the Nautical Club of Sitia will feature many side events to entertain travelers.
Hotels such as Lato Boutique Hotel in Heraklion, academic entities like the University of Crete; the Cretaquarium-Thalassocosmos, and the the Porto Venetiano Hotel in Chania; plus so many others are participating and sponsoring these celebrations across Crete.
For those of you headed to Crete, the notorious Greek hospitality will be out in full bloom from today until the regatta ends next Sunday. The atmosphere on the Island of the Minoans, driven by love of country and holiday cheer, should be an eventful 2013 Cretan memory to take home. Drink a toast to Zeus or each other, no doubt the Ouzo will flow freely this weekend in Crete.