The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced today that in 2010 the ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy – which honours an outstanding voluntary contribution to the sport of sailing – has been awarded to His Majesty King Constantine.
ISAF President Göran Petersson will present the award on Thursday 11 November during the 2010 ISAF Annual Conference in Athens, Greece.
Sport has always been an integral part of His Majesty’s upbringing, with sailing being the favourite sport of the family.
ISAF President Göran Petersson said, “I am very proud to honour the contribution His Majesty King Constantine has made to sailing by awarding the ISAF Beppe Croce Trophy. His passion for sailing is inspiring and the work he has done with ISAF and the Olympic movement over the past 50 years has been of tremendous value to our sport.”
His Majesty’s record of service to the International Sailing Federation spans more than 50 years. Since 1960, when he first became involved with ISAF, he has given his time and experience to many areas of the sport of sailing.
His Majesty first took a seat on an ISAF Committee in 1961 when he joined the Class Policy and Organization Committee (CPOC) and the new Catamaran Technical Committee. The first meeting of the Catamaran Technical Committee took place in 1962 with Robert Bavier (USA) as Chairman and three members; His Majesty, Alonso Allende (ESP) and PV MacKinnon (GBR). He sat on the Catamaran Committee for four years and the CPOC for eight.
In 1964 His Majesty was appointed as Vice-President of Honour a position which engaged him directly with the Council and Executive Committee. In 1994 he became President of Honour, a role which he has actively enjoyed since then.
His Majesty became president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee in 1957 demonstrating his strong commitment to the Olympic Movement and in 1963 he was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee where he has been actively involved in all aspects of the movement. In 1974 he was elected an Honorary Member.
In 1959 His Majesty participated in his first official regattas, which included winning the Panhellenic Championships and other International Regattas. The following year he tried his hand at the Dragon Class entering international competitions including the Gold Cup in Amsterdam and Kieler Woche where he finished second.
His greatest success on the water was in the Dragon Class when he was twenty years old. At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, His Majesty helmed his Dragon to win the Gold Medal for Greece. For this win he received the traditional victory dunking from the family! This gold medal was of huge significance for Greece as it was the first for the country since 1912 in any sport and the only medal for the Greek team at those Games.
In 1969 His Majesty competed at the first ever Soling World Championships in Denmark. The event was won by Paul Elvström who at that time was building Solings. Elvström spent time customising three of his boats, one for himself, one of His Majesty and the third for Erik Johansen a fellow Dane. The Soling was selected for the 1972 Olympic Regatta, and His Majesty finished inside the top ten at the pre-Olympic regatta in 1971.
His Majesty is still an active sailor, enjoying competition in the International Dragon and Maxi Class events.
His Majesty King Constantine is married to Her Majesty Queen Anne-Marie and they have three sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.
Image: His Majesty King Constantine
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images/ISAF