ABOUT THE TEAM

“A highly competitive team of young but extensively experienced sailors passionate about what they do”.

Why we do it.

We race sailboats because we are kept constantly under challenge to excel. There is a huge demand to master a broad scope of skills in order to prove ourselves, race after race, after race. We must draw from experience, apply professional knowledge, follow the rules, exercise critical judgment, perform under pressure, cope with adversities, be alert and be there for each other, get the best of ourselves and come out as winners. None of us will even master all the skills. Neither all of us collectively as a team. But we love the adventure of getting there. We set goals, we establish priorities, we analyze information, we go over the facts and chart our voyage to the next destination. It is not the arrival; it’s the getting there. We race to win the trophy not as much as we race against ourselves. We study, we practice, we plan, we try and we learn from our mistakes. And we stay in the race.

THE SKIPPER

STAVROS PAPAGIANNOPOULOS

Owner – Skipper – Stavros is the founder of and the source of inspiration for the Team; Skipper and CEO of the TEAM EXLence Syndicate. His vast sailing experience extends throughout the Olympic classes of Laser, Finn and Soling, up until 1980 when he got involved in offshore sailing on boats with household names of the era: Tairi, Christina, Nefos, NANO, Drake, Verina, among others, with many participations in the Aegean Rally, the North Aegean Rally and other major regattas. Since 2002 he has been the Skipper on boats of his own first being the Gorgosifounas – a Beneteau 473, in double handed races, winning 1st position over 80% of the time. In 2006 he founded TEAM EXLence which started racing initially on the AON – a MUMM 30, following with MELX – a Melges 32 type, until recently MELX II -a Sinergia 40. The Team’s trophy case is being decorated with wins in the Aegean Rally, the North Aegean Rally, the Aegean Regatta, the National Championship and in numerous other races in the Greek Waters.

THE CREW

PANAGIOTIS KABOURIDIS

Tactician & Racing Manager – Panagiotis has been an athlete of the Yacht Club Of Greece (YCG) since 1990 and has participated in the Greek Sailing Team from 1997 through 2012. Also a member of the Greek pro Olympic 470 Team both in 2004 and 2008. He took part in the 2008 London Olympics representing Greece holding 2nd position in world ranking. From 2002 to 2005 he had a career spell as an Optimist Coach. He has a broad experience in offshore sailing, racing throughout the Mediterranean Sea, with a Gold and a Silver medal in the ORCi World Championship of 2010 and 2011 respectively. On MELX II he is the Tactician and the Team Organizer.

SPYROS LEMANIS

Master Trimmer & Maintenance Manager – A Yacht Club Of Greece (YCG) athlete from 1985 to now and a member of the Greek Sailing Team from 1990 through 2004 in the Optimist, 420 and 470 classes. Member of the Greek pro Olympic 470 Team in 2004, he has also worked as an Optimist 420 Coach for N.C. Tzitzifion-Kallitheas, YCG and N.A.O.B.B. He started offshore sailing in 1994 and has logged thousands of miles in the Mediterranean Sea. Spyros is the Master Trimmer and the Maintenance Manager for MELX II.

LEONIDAS TZAKOS

Pit Master – Back in 1981 he tried the Optimists at the Piraeus Sailing Club and today among MELX II crew he is a real old hand at offshore sailing. He has many participations in international races in the Mediterranean Sea and on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the Olympic 49er class won 2nd National position in 1998. On MELX II he holds the much demanding position of the Pitman and he is in control of all of the running rigging which comes into the cockpit. Always in the thick of the action.

DEMETRIS POLITO

Mainsail Trimmer – His successful career in sailing began in 1997 with a 2nd position in the Greek Optimist Championship and his induction into the Greek Sailing Team where he raced until 2004. Since 2005 he has been active as a competition sailing coach for Porto Rafti and Piraeus S.C. teams, while he races with the Olympic 49er boat winning 3rd position in the National Championship.

PERICLES CHARBILAS

Assistant Trimmer – Pericles has been involved in competition sailing since 1995. He has sailed with the National Team of Greece in Optimist, 420 and Lightning classes and has won a 7th Pan European position and an 11th position in a Youth World Championship. He is also a promising genoa and spinnaker trimmer relieving the basic trimmer when needed.

AVRILIA TERZI

Foot, Floater & Tails – Avrilia graduated from the Piraeus S.C. school of offshore sailing in 2005. She has been a core crew member on all TEAM EXLence boats namely: AON Mumm 30, MELX Melges 32, MELX II Sinergia 40, participating and winning in every high profile domestic race. She works the “foot” or straightens out the spinnakers in no time! She offers help in the Pit and she proves invaluable in assisting the Trimmer in the tails and with the guy.

ALEXANDER MOGADAM

Assistant Trimmer – Alexander began sailing in 1995, ever since competing successfully in the Optimist 420 and 470 classes as a member of the Greek Sailing Team from 2004 through 2007. In recent years he has been racing in the International Platu 25 class and also in the 49er. He also logs competition miles as Assistant Trimmer on MELX II.

ALINA STRATIGIOU

Foot, Floater & General tasks – Alina still remains today an athlete of N.C. MATI where she first tried her hand at Optimists. She has won 1st position nationally in the 470 class and 1st in the 2013 Eurolymp. On MELX II she fills in as an understudy. She mainly helps with the “foot” as well in floating the sails and straightening out the spinnakers whenever changes take place.

ALEXANDER TOLIS

Bowman – Mast man – The Optimist class was where Alexander began his successful involvement in competition sailing back in 2000 and ever since, he became a member of the Greek National Team in 2007 in the Optimist, 420 and 470 classes. He has been an active member of the Team EXLence from its very start with the first boat AON, winning twice in the Aegean Rally. On MELX II he holds the position of Bowman,

TIMOS VLACHOS

Assistant Trimmer – He began sailing with the Yacht Club Of Greece (YCG) in the Optimist class and continued with the 420 winning 1st position in the 2004 National Championship, then moved to Lightning winning 2nd position worldwide and later tried the 470. On MELX II he helps the trimmer in the tails and with the guy and relieves the mainsail trimmer with success whenever necessary.

GEORGE MOSCHONAS

Bowman – Mast man – George graduated from the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC ) school of sailing in 1999 and got instantly carried away by offshore sailing. He has taken part 4 times in the North Aegean Rally, as he has raced with a large number of boats before finding his position on the bow of MELX II in close cooperation with Alexander Tolis.

JOHN ROUSIS

Mast man – .He has raced with Optimists and Lasers and was member of the Greek National Sailing Team from 2006 to 2009. As a member of the TEAM EXLence he is the “muscles” that are crucially in demand for hoisting the right sheet whenever needed.

LABROS CHARIS

Bowman – Mast man – Labros is without a doubt the athlete of hard to accomplish air-to-air missions out on the bow or high up on the mast. He has been involved since 1995 in the Optimist and Laser classes as well as in whatever relevant to the Open Sea. He participated in the Greek National Laser Team from 2001 to 2004 and he is a licensed “C” class coach.

DEMOSTHENES PAPAGIANNOPOULOS

Mast man – Demosthenes graduated recently from the Yacht Club of Greece (YCG) Offshore Sailing School, under his instructor Mr. Stelios Bonas. He began competing in sailing in May 2012 by taking part in the Tzia Race and from that day he has never given up, not for a second, his endeavors working at the mast and with the winches of MELX II. To the Team’s satisfaction he has brought in the much needed infusion of freshness and muscular power!

MARGARITA KAMARIOTI

Foot, Floater & General Tasks – Margarita began sailing at the age of 13 when she joined the Yacht Club of Greece (YCG), racing on 420s up until 2005. In 2009 she acquired her Diploma in Offshore Sailing, taking part in numerous competitions on Apidalos Nafs ever since and lately on MELX II. She shows real talent in floating the sails and straightening out the spinnakers.

PETER ANTONOPOULOS

Assistant Trimmer – Following a hit by the boom while jibbing, in Lesson 1 sometime in 1999, I was sure that sailing was a hobby of a lifetime for me. Since finishing the offshore sailing school, I took part in several races since 2000, with the most important being 3 Aegean Rallies (2005, 2011, 2012).

MARINA CHOUNTA

Pit girl – Marina first stepped foot(!) on a boat as… a toddler; on her family’s own Glaros II. She has been in offshore racing since she was 10 (yes, years young!) with multiple participations in the Aegean Rally, the Ionian Rally, the Aegean Regatta, the National and the Pan European IMS championships, on boats from Glaros II, to Atalanti, to Meliti, Macedonia, Blueline II, Ifigenia, to Serendipity. She has also sailed triangle courses both in the Optimist (1993-1998) and the 420 (2003-2005) classes. On MELX II, Marina -the Pit girl- proves herself as a true TEAM EXCLence Member.

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