Andrea De Cesaris  31.5.1959 – 5.10.2014Andrea De Cesaris

I am not the right person to speak about Andrea as  racing driver - this has been done by Alberto Sabbatini

I can only express my grief for the loss of a determined wave rider, who when asked what he would have done if he was not a racing driver, without hesitation said he would be windsurfing on a professional level.

Andrea lost his life in an accident while riding his motorcycle in Rome.

Andrea was loyal to Ezzy sails and was riding the last years NoveNove boardsAndrea de Cesaris  windsurfing

Early F2 board – type X

F2 - X-main fin

If anyone would challenge me to identify an F2 board produced earlier than 2000, I would accept the challenge laughing…Well, things have changed since last weekend.

On the 3rd of September my friend Thanos send me the photo of a board he kindly thought to offer me, having become aware about my interest on vintage F2 boards.

Thanos boardHe said it was a 1983-84 F2 model he was sailing back then and was now standing idle in the garage of his country house in Galatas on the coast of Peloponnese. As our summer house is in Poros island - opposite of Galatas, with a narrow channel of just a few hundred meters separating them, I started arranging the pick-up of the board, which I must confess, triggered my curiosity as it looked unidentifiable.Poros island & Galatas

Last weekend having gone to Poros, on my way back to Athens I stopped and loaded the board and took it home in Athens.

The general condition is good, so after a good washing, I started checking the details.

All decals are long gone , while the only marking is the F2 molded emblem on the mastfoot release/secure lever. It was easy for me to reproduce the standard F2 nose decal of that period and I added a personal touch of a small decal on the face of the dagger-board box, something I did right away.

The board is a made out of thermoplastic ASA which makes it durable but relatively heavy.

It measures 3.22 x .63 m and I weighed it bear, at 16.3kgs.

It has a center dagger-board, and 3 rear fins of the thruster arrangement (one 25cm main & two 8cm on the sides) attached with the US box system.

There are 2 rows of footstraps for the front leg and another 2 for the rear, all of them in fixed positions.

The outline of the tail is of the Squash Double Winger type, very unusual for an F2 as far as I know.

The bottom is of a complex design, starting flat under the nose, gradually becoming V-shaped double concave, releasing most of the concavity through the first row of wings and from there on V turns into U which leads to a lightly convex  tail-end.F2 - XF2 - X2F2 - X3F2 - X4F2 - X5F2 - X6F2 - X7

The board is closer to COMET on the basis of size and centerboard, but does not correspond to ANY of the 1982-1984 boards we have in print, while from then onward ASA construction was dropped in favor of more hi-tech , lighter & stiffer solutions. It is hard to believe this can be a non series production board, as τηε uncle of my friend Thanos had bought it from the Greek market…

Although I tried through Facebook, I failed to get a contact respond from these persons involved with F2 of that era:

Peter Brockhaus, founder of F2

Kai Schnellbacher, F2 evolutive tester and world athlete

Kutte Priessner, the testing force of Surf magazine

Late afternoon update – same day of posting

Jurgen Hönscheid , F2 shaper & world athlete during the ’80′s, has responded to my message through his contact of his NorthShore Fuertaventura  company.

Here is our correspondence:

Dear Jurgen,
I would appreciate if you could enlighten me on the identification of a vintage F2 board I have just posted in my blog

I will also take the opportunity to thank you for all the great boards you have shaped while in F2

Best Regards

Dimitris Savidis (zaosan) – Greece

Hi Dimitris, 
Thank you for your mail but I do not remember this board with the double wingers.
Maybe its a prototyp but I am not sure, sorry! As far as I remember I did not work on this design.
Best regards


Thanks Jurgen for your immediate response.
It crossed my mind the possibility of a prototype, but then I would expect to be fabricated with hand laid materials and not ASA. Do I think correctly?



Hi Dimitris,

True, when its ASA it was a production board.
Best regards 




I am afraid his reply leaves hardly any chances of identification

Last hope are my Greek friends, windsurfing importers and athletes – Theo Theodoridis & Philip Adamidis, while help by anyone is welcome. Let’s see…

September  29  update

Both Theo & Philip contacted me, letting me know they were unable to recognize the board.

September  30  update

Kai Schnellbacher, kindly responded to my message and this is what we exchanged:

Kai Schnellbacher
11:58 π.μ. Τρίτη, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014
Re: F2 vintage windsurfing board

dear dimitris,

 the board might be a sailboard or a klepper, maybe somebody put the f2 sticker and masttrack on to have an f2 board.
you might contact Klaus Walter for more information
best regards
kai schnellbacher


Hi Kai and thank you for your response.

About the stickers: They are new, I personally recreated them, based on the F2 marking on the mast track pin lever.
It crossed my mind the possibility of an F2 donor mast track on another brand board, but from my so far search, I either find Squash tails with one set of wingers or Swallow tails with 2 sets (like the HiFly in the ad I’m sending you)…
I have already contacted Klaus and we’ll see if he will come up with something.

October  6  update

Klaus Walter, one of the fastest athletes of the F2 team in the early ’80′s, has also responded to my identification request, but as you will see, the board cannot be identified

Klaus Walther
6:58 μ.μ. Δευτέρα, 6 Οκτωβρίου 2014
Re: F2 vintage windsurfing board

Dear Dimitris,

Your “unidentified” Board:  I am pretty sure that during this time there was no production board with a double winger / square tail, 3 fins and daggerboard in the range. 
It almost seems like a board from another manufacturer with some F2 stickers… 
The sliding mast track seems original F2 but the black plug on the nose and the yellow finboxes do not seem like the F2 parts used in mass production during this particular time 
sorry if this does not get you much closed solving your puzzle..
Klaus Walther
4 The Grange
Camps Bay 8005
South Africa
Dear Klaus,
Thank you for trying to identify the X board.
The black plug is something you cannot miss, as I have never seen any F2 board with a tow fastener other than white.
The fin boxes on the other hand, have turned yellowish due to weathering. The small area covered by the fin is still white, while with a little sanding, white color is being restored.
The problem is, that so far, I have not been able to find any board by any brand with this specific configuration…
Nevertheless, as you say, we still have the puzzle unsolved.
Best Regards
K.Walther on F2 Stratos - 1983
For sure the designer of the X board was a winger lover, so it is maybe not too inappropriate to include the recent custom board story of Spencer Thompson/Mark Nelson I read some time ago in Boardseekermag.
BLAZE - Thompson & Nelson custom board

DS on F2 Ride 277 - copyright DWell, I sailed my vintage equipment without any photos documentation (the photo above was taken 2 years ago by my friend S.Theodoropoulos), but one thing I can assure you about, is that I enjoyed every minute,  and I was very happy to realize that I’m not the only one playing around with depreciated material that often put to shame boards that just rolled out of the production line!

I cannot find a better example than our Italian friend Paolo, sailing fast for many hours., while no other boards could be seen planing.  Only kitesurfs could sail under these conditions, but Paolo was travelling at speed from New Golden beach – up to Messada & down to Dryonissi and back.Trevisiol XL Red - Paolo & kites onlyHis board for those not-so-strong-wind-days, is a red Ezio Trevisiol custom board , built in the late ’90s, close to 160 liters, 298 x 71cm, of honeycomb/carbon construction.Trevisiol XL Red - 2.98 x71 ~160lTrevisiol XL Red -   14 cm highI promised next year I will bring along the T1 eXperience 165, in order to sail together, as we did in the past when we were testing the T1 for the first time.

For more wind, Paolo rides a smaller freeride white Trevisiol, 278 x 54 cm/~110 liters – pity Ezio no longer makes windsurfing boards…Paolo on Trevisiol 2,78x54 ~110 l

And there were some more proud owners appreciating vintage charms, like Haris and his 1994 F2 XenonHaris & his F2 Xenon New Golden beach

The guy with the 4 battens Gaastra wave/slalom sail of 1992, with 1 external camber! I have the same sail in 4.4 size – a gift from the retired quiver of my pal Loukis.Gaastra 1992 external camber - copyright D.SavidisGaastra 4 batten-external camber sail

Unfortunately, not all nice boards en-up in a good way. Here are some, decorating the Golden beach in Paros

copyright D.Savidis

copyright D.Savidis

copyright D.Savidis

copyright D.Savidis

Some uses of the old boards may appear more imaginative, but only defective boards should be doomed not to sail again.

Here is an F2 wave board, standing-by as a life-guard board at a station in Skopelos island.life guard Skopelos-F2 board wave 254

And here are the showers of  Moraitis Sports Center in Schinias, close to Athens

copyright D.Savidis

copyright D.Savidis

Leaving Paros, I loaded on more board. I acquired from John Xefteris a retired OES-Australia custom wave weapon of Evi Tsape, the most accomplished Greek lady windsurfer in the PWA .

copyright D.Savidis

copyright D.Savidis

OES - EviTsape (GR-2) special - bottom

I’m sure some of you feel jealous. but it now proudly completes my windsurfing stand.DS windsurfing boards August 2014

 To be continued

I regularly check the classified used boards for sale, and in June I spotted an F2 Ride 274 (mod.2000). It was located less than a 10 minute ride from my place, the seller was a guy I meet often down the beach of Shinias, the board in good condition supplied with both the original swept back 30 Concrete Wave fin, plus a more powerful upright 36 Ciessevi fin, so I handed over 200 euros and took it home. Such board sell for 150 euros, but mine had also the original foot straps OK, plus a historic Drops board bag, which although hardly presentable, it would serve to safely transport the recently renovated F2 Thommen Slalom Small down to Paros.

I know I don’t really need that board, but it will be a favorite among my windsurfing progressing friends and you should know by now, I have a soft spot for F2 boards of the Thommen era.F2 Ride 274 mod. 2000F2 Rde 274 finsF2 Ride Range 2000

In the meantime, I sold the T1 FreeX 130 bamboo Thommen board to a nice heavy guy who usually sails in Golden beach-Paros, so now I’m left with 2 boards of this line, the RS 59 and the eXperience 165, that I have already reviewed in the past.T1 mk4 RS 59-FreeX 130-eXperience 165sale photo of T1 FreeX 130


This year we arrived in New Golden Beach a little earlier, with good wind to sail all 4 boards I brought along, 2 F2 classics – the Wave 254 & the Thommen Slalom Small and 2 modern, the Exocet Cross IV 84 pro & the RRD Firemove 100.

The big news this year, is that in addition to the long established Paros Surf Club Station (Taboo/Gaastra) that belongs to Philoxenia hotel, and run by Kostas,Paros Surf Club @ N.G Paros Surf Club manager - Kostas 2010 - RRDa new sports center affiliated to Aqua  Marina resort has opened: The  Goya Center Paros, run by the renowned windsurfing athlete & experienced trainer John Xefteris.Goya windsurfing center ParosGoya windsurfing center Paros - stationJohn Xefteris @ Goya Center ParosEfinha StreetDancer

The good news, is that now we have more friends running their businesses in N.G. beach, greater choice of equipment offered & more rescue boats.

The not so good news, is that the space is limited, parking is less easy, more people are both on the beach & sailing…

This July, there were fewer windy days, while there were some days of S & SW wind, rather unusual for this time of the year. Still, the windy days of meltemi wind, created a great terrain.

NGB Paros July 2014 - big wavesVergos wave riding NGBDuring my stay, I spotted 2 broken Taboo fins and I wonder if there was a production butch of inferior construction…broken Taboo finbroken Taboo fin -2

Talking about questionable material quality, I have to protest for the Dakine gloves I bought in Paros. These gloves started coming apart just the 4th day of use!Dakine glove 2014 RDakine glove 2014 L

It is a pity, because the 2011 Dakine gloves I had were very good – unfortunately I lost them. The Gull gloves I had last year, were also up to the job – again I managed to lose them…

Dakine sailing gloves 2011 – GOOD

Dakine sailing gloves 2011 - GOOD

Now I just received a pair of MacWet gloves which look promising. I will report in due time.MacWet watersports glovesThere were no friends photographers around this year, so it was thanks to Arnaud Dechamps, who in between shooting  the equipment on test for Planchemag, took 2 photos of me on the Exocet, where you can see the incomparable clarity of the water we are blessed to sail on!

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 To be continued

Τώρα ξέρω γιατί έχει αεράκι σήμερα.
Είναι για να ταξιδέψει καλά με τα πανιά του ο φίλος μας.
Καλό σου ταξίδι και σ’ευχαριστούμε για την φιλία σου και τις συγκινήσεις που μας έδωσες. Ώρα σου καλή.

Agora eu sei porque ventoso hoje.
É bom viajar com velas nosso amigo.

Tenha uma boa viagem e obrigado por sua amizade e emoções que você ofereceu. Boa viagem.

Fernando De Noronha Race- Brazil

           Leonidas Renos Zerboulis ∞

Όταν έγραψα για το Γκρέγκο, το ξύλινο αγωνιστικό γουίντσερφ της Division II και άρχισα ανεπιτυχώς ν’αναζητώ στοιχεία για τον Έλληνα της Βραζιλίας που το δημιούργησε, δεν ξέρω πώς, ξέχασα να ρωτήσω τον αδελφό μου – μεγάλη παράλειψη!

Γιατί?, διότι απλούστατα αγαπάει το σπορ, ήταν αθλητής της Division II και σαν ειδικός συνεργάτης του ΤΑΧΥΔΡΟΜΟΥ – του μεγαλύτερου περιοδικού ποικίλης ύλης της εποχής, ΕΙΧΕ ΓΡΑΨΕΙ 3σέλιδο άρθρο για το γουιντσέρφινγκ, όπου ΠΑΡΟΥΣΙΑΖΕ ΜΕ ΛΟΓΙΑ & ΕΙΚΟΝΕΣ τον δημιουργό ΛΕΩΝΙΔΑ ΖΕΡΜΠΟΥΛΗ και ΤΑ ΣΚΑΦΗ ΤΟΥ “GREGO”…Grego-Zerboulis  photo by M

Grego-Zerboulis by M 

Όμως αυτό το έμαθα αργότερα. Στο μεταξύ, μετά από τυχαία σχετική αναζήτηση στο διαδίκτυο, ο Λεωνίδας κατέληξε στο μπλόγκ μου και επικοινώνησε μαζί μου.

Του ζήτησα υλικό και μου έστειλε διάφορες φωτογραφίες, μεταξύ των οποίων και ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΤΟΥ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΥ ΜΟΥ. Φαντάζεστε πόσο χαζός ένοιωσα!

΄Ετσι με μεγάλη χαρά σας μεταφέρω μερικά απ’όσα ενδιαφέροντα μου είπε:

Γεννήθηκα στην Αθήνα το 1941, αλλά ζω στη Βραζιλία εδώ και 61 χρόνια.

Μένω στο Κάμπο Φρίο, ένα μέρος με δύσκολες συνθήκες ιστιοπλοΐας και πολύ καλό για καταδύσεις. Από το 1963 μέχρι το 1967, ήμουν επαγγελματίας δύτης, δουλεύοντας σε λιμάνια και υδροηλεκτρικά φράγματα. Κέρδιζα καλά λεφτά όταν έπιανα αστακούς, ενώ με την ψαρόβαρκά μου, ψάρευα σκυλόψαρα με παραγάδι και γαρίδες με τράτα. Ήταν καλή εποχή – όλη την εβδομάδα δουλειά στη θάλασσα και τα Σαββατοκύριακα ιστιοπλοΐα.

 Δεν έχω πάρει πτυχίο ναυπηγού, παρακολούθησα μόνο το πρώτο έτος. Μελέτησα και εξασκήθηκα πολύ εκτός σχολής. Εργάστηκα στο εθνικό πανεπιστήμιο του Ρίο σαν τεχνικός ναυπήγησης και παρέδιδα πρακτικά μαθήματα κατασκευής.

Είχα δικό μου ναυπηγείο, όπου κατασκεύασα 11 σκάφη και 285 ξύλινες ιστιοσανίδες. Όταν ολοκλήρωσα το χτίσιμο του δικού μου ξύλινου ιστιοπλοϊκού, σταμάτησα την παραγωγή και σαλπάρισα μ’αυτό για την Ελλάδα το ‘90 & το ‘91.

Δούλεψα για 2 χρόνια στου Βερνίκου και στη συνέχεια ξεκίνησα να επιστρέψω στη Βραζιλία, σταματώντας ενδιαμέσως στην Πάλμα της Μαγιόρκας, όπου κατά τη διάρκεια του 1992, δίδαξα πλοήγηση και κατασκευή μικρών σκαφών, ενώ παράλληλα απασχολήθηκα ως κυβερνήτης σ’ένα 86άρι ιστιοπλοϊκό.

Επιστρέφοντας στη Βραζιλία, εργάστηκα για καιρό σαν κυβερνήτης σ’ένα 80άρι ιστιοπλοϊκό κάνοντας ταξίδια στη Βραζιλία, την Ευρώπη και την Αμερική.

Άλλαξα τις δραστηριότητές μου για να βρίσκομαι κοντά στον γιό μου. Έτσι τώρα, δουλεύω σαν σύμβουλος ναυπήγησης και ανακαίνισης σκαφών.

Τον ερχόμενο χρόνο, σκοπεύω να κατασκευάσω σε περιορισμένον αριθμό ξύλινα SUP. Είναι μια τεχνική που συνεχώς ανανεώνεται με τη χρήση σύγχρονων υλικών και ξύλου, και με ενδιαφέρει πολύ. Αυτόν τον καιρό δοκιμάζω τους νέους συνδυασμούς υλικών, όπως ανθρακονήματα, ξύλο & divinicell.Leo Zerboulis 2013 - evaluating new construction methods in his workshop




Σχετικά τώρα με τις νέες σχεδιαστικές τάσεις και τα υλικά, πιστεύω για παράδειγμα πως οι αναδιπλούμενες σανίδες είναι και βαρύτερες και σίγουρα θα παρουσιάσουν προβλήματα με τη χρήση. Λόγω κατασκευής είναι αναπόφευκτο.

Βέβαια επειδή στη μεταφορά τους είναι πολύ πρακτικές, υπάρχουν ενδιαφερόμενοι. Αντίστοιχα και με τις φουσκωτές. Είναι αδύνατον μια τέτοια γάστρα να συναγωνιστεί τις επιδόσεις μιας συμβατικής.

Η κατασκευή σανίδων με εξεζητημένα υλικά όπως το honeycomb, είναι πολύ δαπανηρή.  Προσφέρει κορυφαία σχέση βάρους/αντοχής, αλλά μοιραία περιορίζεται σε ειδικές κατασκευές πολύ μικρής  παραγωγής. Αντιθέτως, το ξύλο μειώνει το κόστος κατά πολύ. Έτσι ο συνδυασμός ξύλου και άλλων υλικών είναι η ιδανική επιλογή αυτή τη στιγμή.

Ακόμα δεν έχουν αξιοποιηθεί πλήρως οι δυνατότητες του ξύλου. Χρησιμοποιείτο περισσότερο για τον αισθητικό εντυπωσιασμό και λιγότερο για τα εξαιρετικά δομικά χαρακτηριστικά του. Υπάρχει δυσκολία στην υλοποίηση των σύγχρονων περίπλοκων σχεδίων γάστρας, αλλά υπάρχουν λύσεις και θέλω να δοκιμάσω μερικές ιδέες.

Δυστυχώς το μπαμπού που παρουσιάστηκε σαν το πολλά υποσχόμενο οικολογικό ξύλο, διέψευσε τις προσδοκίες στις χρήσεις του σε νερό. Εργάστηκα εκτενώς με μπαμπού στο πανεπιστήμιο του Ρίο και δεν μου άρεσε. Έχει μεγαλύτερα αγγεία σε σχέση με τα άλλα ξύλα και η στεγανοποίησή του είναι επίφοβη.

Το ξύλο πλεονεκτεί στην κατασκευή σκαφών. Αν δουλευτεί σωστά με έποξυ, δεν αυξάνεται το βάρος του, ενώ το φάιμπεργκλας με πολυεστέρα, απορροφά νερό, παθαίνει όσμωση, μαλακώνει, βαραίνει συχνά πάνω από 10% του αρχικού βάρους και ταυτόχρονα πέφτουν οι επιδόσεις. Έχω δει πολλά σκάφη να παραμορφώνουν όταν σφίγγεις τα συρματόσχοινα του άλμπουρου.

Η μοντέρνα κατασκευή με ξύλο σε λωρίδες και έποξυ, αποκλείεται να πάθει κάτι, γιατί οι άκρες του ξύλου απ’όπου θα έμπαινε το νερό, είναι σφραγισμένες με έποξυ. Αν πάλι χτυπηθεί και φύγει η εποξυκή επίστρωση, στεγνώνει γρήγορα και αποκαθιστάται η  στεγανότητα με ένα νέο στρώμα έποξυ.

Το σκάφος μου το Μάνι Μάνι, μετά από 18 χρόνια πλεύσης, δεν είχε πάρει κιλό.

Τα ανθρακονήματα, καταπονούνται μηχανικά, εξασθενούν και κάποια στιγμή σπάνε. Στο ξύλο δε συμβαίνει αυτό, γιατί πάντοτε επανέρχεται στην αρχική του μορφή. Στα σκι ταχύτητος (250χλμ/ώρα) χρησιμοποιούν ξύλο μέχρι σήμερα, μαζί με άλλα μοντέρνα υλικά.

Θέλω να πω πως τελικά, ποτέ δε μετάνιωσα δουλεύοντας το ξύλο. Όταν άρχισα να κάνω τις πρώτες ιστιοσανίδες DII, πολλοί με κορόιδευαν.

Ένα ναυπηγείο που σκέπτεται μόνο την μαζική παραγωγή, δε θα το χρησιμοποιήσει και ποτέ δε θα παραδεχτούν πως το φάιμπεργκλάς είναι καλό μόνο για τον κατασκευαστή και όχι για τον κάτοχο του σκάφους.



Συνολικά κατασκεύασα 285 ιστιοσανίδες και άλλαξα το σχέδιο 12 φορές. Κάθε πράγμα εξελίσσεται και προσπαθούσα να βρίσκομαι στην κορυφή. Εδώ στη Λατινική Αμερική, οι κατασκευαστές εκείνης της περιόδου κατασκόπευαν τη δουλειά μου και έπρεπε να εφαρμόζω γρήγορα τις αλλαγές. Συζητούσα πολύ μ’αυτούς που χρησιμοποιούσαν τα σκάφη μου και περνούσα ώρες παρακολουθώντας τις επιδόσεις τους στους αγώνες. Αυτό με βοηθούσε να τα βελτιώνω. Ήσαν γρήγορα στον δυνατό άνεμο χάρη στην ακαμψία τους και επειδή έβγαιναν ελαφρύτερα, τους προσέθετα βάρος στο κέντρο, προκειμένου να είναι μέσα στις προδιαγραφές της κατηγορίας. Αυτό είχε σαν αποτέλεσμα, η πλώρη να είναι πάντα πάνω από τα κύματα – όπως τα ιστιοπλοϊκά υψηλών επιδόσεων.GREGO in action

61% πουλήθηκαν εκτός Βραζιλίας, κυρίως στην Αργεντινή, όπου πιστεύω πως θα υπάρχουν ακόμα μερικά. Εδώ, γνωρίζω 2 καλοδιατηρημένα, ένα στο Σάο Πάολο σ’ένα μαγαζί ειδών σπορ και ένα άλλο, σ’ένα μουσείο για σανίδες του σερφ.

Δεν έχω φυλάξει όλα τα αποτελέσματα των αγώνων που έτρεξαν τα «Γκρέγκο».

Κέρδισαν πλήθος αγώνων σε Βραζιλία, Αργεντινή, Χιλή και Περού. Πήραν το Νοτιοαμερικανικό, το Βραζιλιάνικο και πολλά τοπικά πρωταθλήματα το ’83, ’84,’85 & ’86. Το ’83 ο Ντόχνερτ Κάρλος, κέρδισε το Ευρωπαϊκό κύπελλο, ενώ ήρθε δεύτερος στο πρωτάθλημα της Ιταλίας. Το ’84 η Σύνθια Κνόθ κέρδισε το Ευρωπαϊκό πρωτάθλημα γυναικών. Μετά τις μεγάλες επιτυχίες του ’84, αυξήθηκαν οι πωλήσεις και συμμετείχαν στους αγώνες πολλά «Γκρέγκο».


Οι σανίδες κατασκευάζονταν στη γυάρδα μου στο Κάμπο Φρίο, ένα ωραίο μέρος 140 χλμ ανατολικά του Ρίο. Είναι ένα ακρωτήρι πολύ επικίνδυνο λόγω αέρα και κυμάτων, με ρέμα 2.5-3 κόμβους. Τα γουίντσερφ «Γκρέγκο», άντεχαν πολύ καλύτερα από άλλες μάρκες στις δύσκολες συνθήκες του Κάμπο Φρίο κι αυτό ήταν η καλύτερη δυνατή διαφήμιση.building of GREGOS

GREGO being built @ Zerboulis shipyard

Leo Zerboulis early '80's - applying his  construction method on a GREGO at his shipyard

Grego at the finishing stage

Η παραγωγή γινόταν με μέσο ρυθμό 4 σκάφη την εβδομάδα, με μάξιμουμ τα 5 όταν επέτρεπε ο καιρός. Είναι πολύ σημαντικό η κατασκευή να γίνεται  κάτω από ελεγχόμενη υγρασία και θερμοκρασία, για καλύτερο αποτέλεσμα.

Είχα πολλές παραγγελίες και μερικές φορές ο χρόνος αναμονής, έφτανε τους 3 μήνες. Ήταν μια εξαιρετική περίοδος για μένα, αλλά τα παράτησα όλα για να ταξιδέψω με το ιστιοπλοϊκό μου το Μάνι Μάνι – μου αρέσουν οι προκλήσεις, ενώ η σύνεση έρχεται με την ηλικία…Τώρα ήρθε η ώρα να πουλήσω το σκάφος μου για να αφιερωθώ σε κάτι καινούριο, όσο είμαι καλά.




Η ιστορία του ιστιοπλοϊκού μου, άρχισε ως εξής: Είδα το σχέδιο σ’ένα αμερικάνικο ναυτικό περιοδικό και το ερωτεύτηκα με την πρώτη ματιά. Επικοινώνησα με τον Μπόμπ Πέρρυ τον σχεδιαστή του και ρώτησα αν ήταν διατεθειμένος να μου πουλήσει τα σχέδια για να το κατασκευάσω στη Βραζιλία, από ξύλο με τη μέθοδο του ψυχρού καλουπιού, των Gougeon BrotherssWest System” συγκεκριμένα.

Ο Πέρρυ, είναι κι αυτός τύπος που του αρέσουν οι προκλήσεις (δέχτηκε να κάνει αλλαγές που τελικά πέτυχαν το στόχο – το Μάνι Μάνι κέρδισε αγώνες κόντρα σε μεγαλύτερα και ελαφρύτερα σκάφη) κι έτσι αγόρασα τα σχέδια με αποκλειστικότητα για τη Λατινική Αμερική. Στη συνέχεια, πήγα στις ΗΠΑ και επισκέφτηκα τους Gougeons στο Μπέυ Σίτυ στο Μίτσιγκαν. Πήρα πολλές πληροφορίες και συμβουλές για το χτίσιμο του σκάφους μου, που μου φάνηκαν ιδιαίτερα χρήσιμες. Μου πρότειναν να δουλέψω κοντά τους, αλλά εγώ επέστρεψα στη Βραζιλία και άρχισα τη ναυπήγηση. Λόγω στενότητας χρημάτων πήγαινα πολύ αργά. Κατασκεύασα πρώτα μερικά άλλα σκάφη, μετά ξεκίνησα τις ιστιοσανίδες και έτσι μάζεψα τα χρήματα για να ολοκληρώσω το δικό μου. 85% με 95% της κατασκευής την έκανα μόνος μου για λόγους οικονομίας. Δούλεψα Σαββατοκύριακα και αργίες για 9 χρόνια – ήταν όμως καλά, γιατί δεν είχα να γκρινιάξω για κακοτεχνίες κάποιου άλλου. Το έκανα ακριβώς όπως το ήθελα!Gregos in front of Mani Mani


When I wrote about Grego, the wooden windsurfing race board of Division II and started searching in vain for the Greek Brazilian who created it, I do not know how, I forgot to ask my brother – big omission!

Why? Simply because he loves the sport, he was racing in the Division II, and as a specialized reporter of TAHIDROMOS – the largest news & culture magazine of the era, had written 3 page article about windsurfing, including reference on THE GREGO & IMAGES of both the creator LEONIDAS ZERBOULIS and his boards! …

But I learned that later. Meanwhile, Zerboulis, after a random search on the internet, got to my blog and contacted me.

I asked him for material and he sent me several photos, including the article by my brother. Imagine how stupid I felt!

So it is with great pleasure that I have his chronicle plus some interesting topics:



I was born in Athens in 1941, but I live in Brazil for the last 61 years.

I live in Cabo Frio, a place with difficult sailing conditions and great spot for diving. From 1963 to 1967, I was a professional diver, working in ports and hydroelectric dams, earning good money when I caught lobsters, while with my fishing boat I fished sharks by long line and shrimp by trawl.

It was a good time – all week job at sea and sailing on weekends.


I don’t have a degree in naval architect; I only attended the first year. I practiced and studied much outside school. Worked at the National University of Rio as shipbuilding specialist and gave practical construction courses.

I had my own yard, where I built 11 vessels and 285 wooden surfboards. When I finished building my own wooden sailing boat, I stopped production and sailed for Greece in ’90 & ‘91.

I worked for 2 years in Vernicos Yatch and then set off to Brazil, stopping on the way in Palma de Mallorca, where during 1992, I taught navigation and construction of small vessels, while I worked as a captain in a sailing 86footer.

Returning to Brazil, I worked for a long time as captain in a sailing 80footer, making trips to Brazil, Europe and America.

I changed my activities to be near my son. So now, I work as a consultant for renovation & construction of vessels.

In the coming year, I plan to build a limited number of wooden SUPs. It is a constantly updated technique, using modern materials and wood, that attracts me greatly. We are currently trying new combinations of materials such as carbon fiber, wood & divinicell.




Now, about the new design trends and materials, I believe for example, that the folding boards are heavier and definitely will experience problems with use. Because of their construction it is inevitable.

Of course because of their transportation practicality, they have some appeal. Respectively so, are the inflatables. It is impossible for such a hull to match the performance of a rigid one.

Boards constructed with sophisticated materials such as honeycomb, are very costly. This method offers top weight / strength relationship, but limited to special structures of limited production. Instead, the wood reduces the cost considerably. Thus, the combination of wood and other materials is the ideal choice at the moment.

The potential of wood has not yet been fully exploited. It has been used more for aesthetics and less for its exceptional structural features. There is some difficulty in the implementation of modern, complex hulls, but there are solutions and I want to try some ideas.

Unfortunately bamboo introduced as the promising eco wood disappoints in water uses.

I worked extensively with bamboo at the University of Rio and I did not like it. It has larger vessels compared with other types of wood, and sealing is inferior.

Wood is advantageous in boat building. Properly worked well with epoxy, does not increase its weight, while the fiberglass polyester absorbs water, suffers osmosis , softens , often resulting weight increase of more than 10% of the initial weight and consequently decreasing performance . I have seen many boats to deform when tightening the ropes of the mast.

Modern wood strips/epoxy construction, does not allow such thing to happen, because the edges of the wood from which water would enter, are sealed with epoxy. If hit and epoxy coating comes off at a spot, wood dries quickly and tightness is fully restored with just a new layer of epoxy.

My boat Mani Mani, after 18 years of cruising, did not get a single kg.

Carbon fiber, strained mechanically weakens and eventually breaks. The wood is not the case, because it always reverts to its original form. In speed skiing (250km/h) wood is been used to date, combined with other modern materials.

I mean that in the end, I never regretted working with wood. When I started building the first DII surfboards, I was mocked by many.

A yard focused in mass production, will not use wood and will never admit that the fiberglass is only good for the manufacturer and not for the owner of the vessel.


” Grego “

Overall I built 285 boards and changed plans 12 times. Everything evolves and I was trying to stay at the top. Here in Latin America, manufacturers of that period spied my job and I had to quickly apply the changes. I talked with the riders of my boards and spend hours watching their performance in the races. This helped me to improve. They were fast in strong wind thanks to their rigidity and as they came out lighter, was adding weight at the center in order to confront to the standards of the class. This resulted in the bow to sail always above the waves – as high as of performance sailboats.Grego @ buzios

61 % were sold outside Brazil, mainly in Argentina, where I think there will still be some. Here in Brazil, I know 2 well preserved one in Sao Paulo in a sports shop and another, in a museum for surfboards.

I did not file all competition results of the   ‘ Gregos ‘.

They won numerous competitions in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. They took the South-American, Brazilian and many local championships in ‘83, ‘84, ‘85 & ‘86.

In ’83  Carlos Döhnert won the European Cup and came second in the league in Italy. In ’84 Cynthia Knoth won the European women championship. After the great successes of ‘84, sales increased and many ” Gregos” were participating in all kind of championships..1984 DIVII The best equipment of 1984


maybe 15 Gregos

The boards were produced in my yard in Cabo Frio, a nice place 140 miles east of Rio. It is a very dangerous cape due wind, wavesand current of 2.5-3 knots. The windsurfing ” Gregos ” sailed much better than other brands in the difficult conditions of Cabo Frio and this was the best possible advertisement.

The production was of an average rate of 4 vessels per week, with a maximum of 5 when weather permitted. For best results, it is very important that construction takes place under controlled humidity and temperature..

I had a lot of orders and sometimes the waiting time, was up to 3 months. It was a great period for me, but I gave up everything to travel with my sailing boat Mani Mani – I like challenges, while prudence comes with age…

Now it’s time to sell my boat to devote myself to something new, while I’m still OK.




The story of my sailer , began as follows : I saw the plan in a U.S. nautical magazine and fell in love with it at first sight . I contacted Bob Perry the designer and asked him if he was willing to sell me the plans to build it in Brazil, from wood using the method of cold mold, the Gougeon Brothers’s “West System” to be specific.

Perry, is a guy who likes challenges (agreed to make changes that ultimately achieved the goal – Mani Mani won matches against bigger and lighter vessels) so I bought the designs exclusive for Latin America. Then I went to the U.S. and visited the Gougeons in Bay City in Michigan. I got a lot of information and tips on building my boat, which proved very helpful. They offered me the opportunity to work with them , but I returned to Brazil and began the construction . Due to scarcity of money progress was very slow. I built first few other vessels, afterwards I started making the windsurfing boards and that way I collected the money to finish my boat. 85 % to 95 % of the construction I did it myself for reasons of economy. I worked weekends and holidays for nine years – but it was fine because I would not bitch about someone else’s faults. I did it exactly as I wanted!Grego Zerboulis @ laser world 1977

It all started with my post about vintage wooden boards and specificaly this 1984 piece by the Greek magazine Surf & Ski, about the division II racer of great beauty.
As I wrote in my post, it was an entry to the international regatta that took place in Porto Carras in Greece, but although they took photos and provided the info that was made by a Greek in BRAZIL, they failed to record THE NAME of the guy. The bottom photo shows Greek athlete George Giagoulakis who raced the beautiful board. GRECO wooden division II sailboard - made in Brazil 1984

This Is the translation of the article:


 Among the various boards we saw during the European windsurfing championship in Porto Carras (Halkidiki area-northern Greece), there were 2-3 that attracted us.

The first one was the self-made board of the French Ossedat, which as seeing it on the beach, it was giving the impression of something abandoned & obsolete. When later managed to be placed 5th on the final classification, we got really astonished. It was full of tar & patches – a good example that a nice finish is not necessary for a competitive design.

The second was a very expensive all-aluminium board designed & sailed by Hervé Borde, French champion and official designer of the Division II boards of Dufour.

The third board was a wooden one from Brazil, built by a Greek who lives there. We had the chance to discuss with him about the board, the materials and the construction in general.

So here are some of its secrets.

We start from the selection of light cedar wood, which is cut in thin stripes, with opposite direction (90deg angle). That way we get the needed strength, because as wood has only longitudinal strength and not lateral. this is the only right combination (top photo).

After the building of the hull, reinforcements are done to the inside, together with the dagger board case. Then a narrow diameter band is made, that will be used to join the deck to the hull.

The deck is made the same way and when bonded to the hull, starts the finishing procedure (top photo). After the sanding, epoxy resin is applied, which accounts to the

70% of the total weight. The shaper prefers epoxy than polyester resin, because it is less hydrophilic. He also noted that if there were no minimum D2 weight regulations, the board would weight ~ 15,5kg.

When epoxy dries, comes the varnishing, which will protect the surface from the sun radiation. (bottom photo).

Everything fine so far, but what about damage repairs? Thanks to the robust construction, it is difficult to have damages, but in the unlucky case, the repair is done easily by cutting out the broken wood stripes and replacing them with new ones, which if glued with polyester will regain 25% of the original rigidity, while using epoxy will improve the figure to 80%. As the hull has the natural curvatures that wood stripes can follow without the need of any pressure, repairs present no difficulty.

The representation of the boards in Greece was appointed to the athlete Giagoulakis who may also service a board if needed. 

In SEPTEMBER 2012, Thanks to Argentinean friend ARG425, I  got the info that the“Gregos” were built  by the naval architect Leonidas Zerboulis, and that Grego means Greek in Portuguese.

In JANUARY 2013, Rainer Frohböse from Germany GER 239, send me this message:

Hi Dimitri,
I have one of those legendary Gregos which I bought in 1985 after the Europeans in Travemünde. It has been restored and it is in excellent condition. Has anyone else such a fine board?

Having the name of the designer/builder of the GREGO, plus a proud owner of a well-kept & restored board, I could not help but try to get things together and maybe come up with a nice story with memories & photos hopefully provided by  the persons involved.

Rainer gave me both a story & some great photos which I happily share with you:

Hi Dimitri,

Here is my story:

I bought the Grego in 1985 after the European Championships in Travemünde / Germany where we had the pleasure to meet two competitors from Brazil which were Cinthia Knoth and a guy whose name I forgot. They both sailed the Grego in Travemünde and in the DIV II World Championships in the same year. Right after the Europeans they had to go back to Brazil. Because of the expensive freight cost they sold the Grego. As former president of the German DIV II Class organisation, I had been working as press officer during the Championships. So I took the chance and became lucky owner of this wooden beauty on the spur of the moment.

I have been sailing the board until 1988 in many Div II regattas in Germany. Since the collapse of the DIV II class, I used to sail the board just for fun and in several open class races.

A couple of weeks later the mast foot had broken which was a severe problem for me. Where would I buy a spare part? Luckily, a friend helped me to reconstruct it in his workshop. This has been the only problem I have had with my Grego. There has never been any water inside it, as I have managed to avoid any collision.  Some years ago I finally invested in a new epoxy lacquer coat. The board is like new since that time. Now and then I take it out of its handmade board bag made by Josef König. In light wind it is still a pleasure to sail a displacement board!

Attached please find some photos and a copy of a sticker which I got in 1985 when I bought the Grego.

Best regards,


GREGO wooden D2 board sticker - copyright Rainer Frohböse

GREGO wooden D2 board bottom - copyright Rainer Frohböse

GREGO wooden D2 board ID 6538 - copyright Rainer Frohböse

custom mast track for GREGO sailboard - copyright Rainer Frohböse

Rainer is windsurfing since 1979, with plenty of DIV II racing experience from 1980 until 1986, since then he competes in the Raceboard Class until today.
CFO of Windsurfing Club Hamburg ( www.surfen-wch.de) since 2001 and finally responsible for windsurfing within the Hamburger Seglerverband (a local sub-organisation of the Deutscher Seglerverband). Understandably so, he is supporting all windsurfing classes. 
I cannot but think, the Grego 6538 ended up to the right owner…

Although the start with Rainer was very easy & productive, unfortunately, I did not manage to trigger more response from the people involved:

1. Leonidas Zerboulis Some months ago, I tried to contact him through a postage address – as it was impossible to find his e-mail, but unfortunately he has not responded to my letter.

I hope he is doing fine & that the address is no longer valid.

2.  Cintia Knoth - I found the information below, but she never replied to the e-mails I send her to the 2 sailing schools she coaches.

Cintia Knoth, experienced yachtsman, has dedicated her life to nautical sports. Degree in Physical Education from UFRJ.

Her main achievements: Brazilian Champion and twice champion of European Windsurfing Sail and 4 times Brazilian and South American Champion 470. Furthermore, represented Brazil at the Olympics in Seoul.

She is currently a professor at the Gloria Marina and Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro. http://www.clvela.com.br/clquemsomos.htm

3. George Giagoulakis – I spoke with him on the phone, but you must realize that nowadays, many people in Greece are struggling to survive, so maybe my request is out of time…  The contact details were given to me by Stratos Efthyvoulidis, who organizes the annual Div.II regatta in Greece

As you may notice, Nicolas Patroni wrote in the Windsurfing SPECIAL comments section,  that he also owns a similar board, so maybe we will have some more material in the future…


Stratos Efthyvoulidis send me some interesting photos:

A wooden Grego COPY – as I understand from the comments of Leonidas Zerboulis, which looks like a Dobbelman replica in wood – as Stratos Efthyvoulidis points out…Complicated case indeed.

A Grego waiting restoration, found in North Greece, which Stratos describes as similar to Mistral M1.

Vintage D II training of himself & his pal Cyrus on a Grego.D II training 1988 - GR

Ο Στάτος Ευθυβουλίδης, μου έστειλε τις πιό πάνω φωτο, με τα εξής σχόλια:

Δημήτρη γειά, σου στέλνω ένα σετ φωτογραφίες από το ξύλινο σκάφος που ανέβασε στον τοίχο της ομάδας division 2 ο Nicolas Patroni . Επίσης σου στέλνω μερικές φωτο από το δικό μας ξύλινο Grego εδω στη Χαλκιδική. Αυτό βέβαια θέλει κάποια δουλειά για να επανέλθει. 

Το σκάφος που έχουμε εμείς μοιάζει με το Μ1 της Mistral, ενώ αν πρόσεξες του Patroni είναι αντίγραφο του Dobbelman. Από φωτογραφίες σου στέλνω κάποιες παλιές από το 1988 όπου κάνουμε προπόνηση με τον Κύρο με το ξύλινο. 


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