Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Spiros swims for children in need
Local Poros boy, Spiros Rois, swam almost 80 kilometres from Piraeus (the harbour of Athens) to the island of Poros to raise money for the foundation 'Pisti' (faith) which helps young children with cancer and their families.
The marathon swim started from Piraeus harbour and continued for five days as he swam from island to island in the Saronic Gulf.
The first leg of the journey was 17ks from Piraeus to the island of Salamina. Next day Salamina to the island of Aegina 18ks.
Third day Aegina to the small island of Agistri 8ks
Then Agistri to Methana 10ks.
And finally Methana to Poros where he got a well deserved heroes welcome.
We were lucky enough to be on one of the boats which escorted him into the harbour where a red carpet awaited him along with hundreds of cheering locals. It was a festive occasion with all of Poros celebrating our own superstar. There were flares being sent skywards, boats tooting, 'You are My Hero' blasting out of the loudspeaker, a flotilla of local boats, all the island's young rowers and kayakers and a dozen children that Spiros had taught to swim, my grandaughter Nelli being one of the girls who dived in to accompany him on the last hundred metres of the marathon. Above all was the sound of a cheering crowd, whistling and yelling.
Getting ready to 'cruise' out to the lighthouse and get our first glimpse of Spiros and his bobbing orange buoy.
All the family were on board to cheer
A celebratory flare from Yianni's fishing boat
Some of the fleet of escort boats
Yianni in his fishing boat the Orion with the two youngest girls
The girls jump mid 'ocean' from fishing boat to water taxi. They know no fear.
Spiros swims with an orange buoy. You can see him to the right of the yacht which holds his back-up crew.
Jamie celebrating as little boys will do
Swimmers preparing to dive, Nelli second from the left
Congratulations Spiro. That was one hell of an achievement.