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24 September 2020

On discovering a replica of a trireme, the Olympias , to be in active service as a sail (and row) training ship with the Hellenic Navy, SOLer Zorba777 decided that Sailonline should have one too, virtually, and much research and considerable number crunching later, a speculative polar diagram was launched. Above you see a picture of our polar's real life inspiration at ease in her boathouse in Palaio Faliro, near Piraeus.

Having calculated her, we shall now race her, and what better course to follow then that of Odysseus returning home to Ithaca from Troy some time in the late second millennium BCE. Unfortunately, there are divergent views among the pre-historians as to what route exactly that was. Homer, whose epic is the first version of The Odyssey committed to paper, some 800 years after the event, is not entirely clear on the matter, but as the copyright has lapsed you can download an English translation for 'zero dollars' at Project Gutenberg and make up your own mind as you read while following Sailonline's version of the route as set out below, in four legs across the Aegean, Ionian, Sicilian and Tyrrhenian Seas availing of whatever winds you may find in Aeolus' bag (see Leg 3).

To the overall winner will go a small prize (which will also make a local shop where Zorba777 lives happy): an original Greek "mati" , which, according to tradition easily as old as Homer's writings, is used to ward off the "evil eye", and to this day you will see painted on Greek boats everywhere.

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