22 February 2014 15:09

The Slovenian owner of a Cypriot-registered sailing boat carrying the message of a successful and united Europe around the world wants Cypriots to only look ahead.
"Leave the past behind, only look ahead, look to the future and connect so that you optimise possibilities…Otherwise you can never be the best," Igor Simcic whose brainchild is the Esimit Europa project told The Cyprus Weekly.
Esimit Europa 2 - which won all attended regattas in 2010 - is a project under the patronage of the European Commission with the support of the European Parliament.
And with its main sponsor being Russian energy giant Gazprom, the project's aim is to deepen relations between the nations of Europe as well as between Europe and Russia.
Simcic - a 1954-born sports businessman and winemaker - was in Cyprus this week and also met President Anastasiades.  
"The President was pleasantly surprised that the boat was registered here in 2010, he promised to support us even deeper…at the end of the day we are a Cyprus-registered boat so we are representing Cyprus," Simcic said.
"The President promised to raise the project at meetings with other presidents; at every opportunity…Such acts of official support give us strength to fulfil our mission of connecting diplomacy, business and sport on the highest level."
Simcic was living in a town between Italy and Slovenia that was divided after the Second World War and he saw "how stupid this was on a daily basis".
This is how the boat idea was born and after some years it all happened. And the next ambitious step is building a new boat with Russian and European technology combined.  
"This means that the new boat will become the first one of a united European continent. It will cost a lot, because we are talking about technology without any compromise. We already have one of the faster boats in the world, we are now going to improve this technology and make it faster and faster.
"All the knowledge from Europe and the aerodynamics from the Russian side which have the best institute of aerodynamics in the world will be combined."
And the island's Olympic sailing champion Pavlos Kontides could be joining the Esimit Europa adventure after Simcic's visit to Cyprus.
"I haven't met him yet but my company is talking with him to see how we can cooperate, if he can join our team and add another nationality to it.
"We will certainly invite him to our training to meet the skipper and all that. Now we are based in Venice. The next regatta is in May in Capri, the year before it was in Valencia."
Simcic called on Cyprus to develop sailing and suggested more marinas to be built because "where there is sea you must have boats".
He added laughingly: "Rich people are coming on their boats you know."
 
 


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