On an April Sunday a group of sea-lovers gathered at the hotel “Florida”, near Glossa, with a view to founding a nautical club, following an invitation by three visionary water sports fans, the late Evagoras Pantelides, Dr. Ntinos Koumoulis and Othonas Leontiadis.
This is how Famagusta Nautical Club was founded. It was the first nautical club to be founded in Cyprus, known by the acronym N.O.A., and its crest was a mermaid, a trident or a dolphin. The club would play an extremely important and pioneering role in promoting and developing water sports in Cyprus. It has produced numerous water sports athletes who have not only honoured the Club and their country, but also promoted our favourite city’s image and helped raise awareness for its problem through their international appearances.
NOA was initially housed in a picturesque two-storey house which belonged to Agia Triada church, in an ideal location near Glossa. A few years later though, the house was brought down and hotel “Aspelia” was built in its place. NOA had to be temporarily housed near “Faliro” venue and then, until the Turkish invasion, in the old but comfortable manor on the picturesque island of Tzieri at the entrance of the small bay where Famagusta Marina was later built.
After the Turkisch invasion, NOA was hosted by Limassol Nautical Club, until 1983, when the obtained their own premises in an area allocated by the Government, in a marvellous place here in Limassol, under the shade of eucalyptus trees right next to the sea.
NOA had the chance to be managed by efficient governing boards, chaired by prominent personalities of the city of Famagusta. NOA’s first chairman was the late Evagoras Pantelides and then followed the late Kokis Loizides, Loukis Savides, Ntinos Koumoullis, Nikos Markoullides, Nikos Maragkos, Antros Epifaniou, Adamos Adamides, Pantelakis Kyriakides, Zacharias Spyridonos, Andreas Fellas and Alexandros Christoforou to date.
All governing boards were driven by their true, great love for water sports, the Club and our city, promoted all the water sports, but at the same time held events regarding our city, particularly after the Turkish invasion. They also held Cypriot and international competitions in all sports and had the pleasure and honour to host a not so famous at the time Greek athlete, Nikos Kaklamanakis (later an Olympic Games golden medallist), in an international windsurfing competition,. A new competition called “Ammochosteia” was held and established, taking place every five years ever since then, to celebrate the Club’s 25th anniversary. A lot of events have been held as part of “Ammochosteia”, NOA’s 40th anniversary in 2000 and 50th anniversary in 2010: water sports competitions, remarkable cultural and artistic events (such as music shows featuring the late Dimitris Lagios, tenor Petros Evaggelides and Stelios Chiotis), photo exhibitions with Ammochostos as their subject and painting exhibitions by painters from Ammochostos.
NOA often organises members meetings on various subjects, Christmas and Carnival parties, as well as an annual evening reception to honour the Club’s athletes as a sign of acknowledgement and appreciation of their great effort.
NOA is a pioneer in water sports and ever since its foundation has had swimming, sailing, rowing, water polo, water ski and motor yacht departments which have been quite successful in both national and international competitions. In Limassol, NOA maintained all the existing departments and additionally founded a Jet Ski and a Triathlon department. Moreover, it was expanded by founding branches in Nicosia and Larnaca. NOA is a member of all Federations with several NOA members holding key positions such as Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers. NOA maintains excellent relations with all nautical clubs of the island and it is twinned with the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki and the one of Argostoli in Kefalonia. Club’s athletes have been greatly successful, with championships on a team level and personal distinctions in Cyprus and abroad. Some of them took part in the Olympic games, like sailors Panikos Nikolaou at the Moscow 1980 games and Nikolas Epifaniou and Peter Elton at the Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 games. Swimmer Maria Papadopoulou took part in the Olympic games of Sydney in 2000 and sailor Charis Papadopoulos at the Beijing 2008 games. Swimmers Anna Shchogoleva, Giorgos Lagos, Anna Stylianou, Anastasia Christoforou, Alexandre Baktiarov and Maria Papadopoulou have won golden and silver medals at the 2008 Games of the Small States of Europe as well as other distinctions in Cyprus and abroad.
For many decades, Famagusta Nautical Club has had often the pleasure to celebrate new successes, winning the clubs’ national championship in sailing, rafting, canoe-kayak and swimming.
Our champion sailor Charis Papadopoulos also represented Cyprus deservedly in this year’s Eurolymp, winning second place in Finn class.
Since 2009 Famagusta Nautical Club dominates in sailing in Optimist Class (ages 8-15), winning first places in Junior and Youth classes and distinctions in international competitions, such as the second place in World Islands Youth Games 2010, proudly representing Cyprus.
In Laser 4.7 class we made a very good team, we doubled our fleet and created perspective for future champions.
2009 Championship: 2nd place overall, 1st and 2nd place in Youth Optimist class for boys, 3rd place in Youth Optimist class for girls, 1st place in Men’s Laser class, 3rd place in Women’s Laser class, 2nd place in Girls Under 19 Laser class, 1st place in Girls Under 17 Laser class, 2nd and 3rd place in Boys Laser 4.7 class.
2010 Championship: 1st and 2nd place in Optimist overall, Junior and Youth classes, 2nd place in Men’s Laser class, 1st place in Girls Under 17 Laser class, 3rd place in Girls Under 19 Laser class.
Famagusta Nautical Club has been repeatedly honoured by the Cyprus Sports Organisation, the Cyprus Sports Writers' Union, Famagusta and Limassol Municipalities, as well as other Unions and Associations. Many of the Club’s athletes have been voted and honoured as Cyprus’ top athletes.
Last year this legendary club from the occupied city of Famagusta, the oldest nautical club in Cyprus, celebrated its 50 years anniversary; 50 years of glorious history that will definitely continue in the future, but with the wish that the flags waving outside the temporary premises in Limassol, the Greek flag, Cypriot flag and Famagusta Nautical Club flag, will very soon wave again at the old manor on Tzieris island…
Issue 11, June 2011