"At the end of the day, it is perseverance that counts,” said Vassilis Dalacouras, sitting in the offices of Dalex Shipping, gazing out at a magnificent view of the Piraeus coastline and the Saronic islands beyond. “Mistakes will be made, adversities will occur — one just has to have the tenacity and combativeness to pull through,” said the company’s 47-year-old management director, in an interview with TradeWinds. Dalex has provided ample proof of that resilience in its 50 years of existence, a watershed it crossed this month. " Mistakes will be made, adversities will occur — one just has to have the tenacity and combativeness to pull through " Vassilis Dalacouras Founded in the autumn of 1968 by George Dalacouras, Vassilis’ father who is now the company’s chairman, Dalex has navigated every twist and turn of Greece’s modern shipping history. New blood When George launched the firm, he was part of a new generation of players entering Greek shipping. Maritime companies popped up like mushrooms as enthusiastic entrepreneurs took advantage of generous incentives. Some were from shipping families and] returned to Piraeus from London and New York [to join the boom. However, many others were new to the business. George was a case in point. Traditional shipowner JM Carras picked him to serve as his personal assistant after it was suggested by Athens College, George’s alma mater. After another stint at owner Aristides Alafouzos, George struck out on his own, setting up Dalex at about the time his eldest son, Dimitris, was born. Within a few years, Dalex assembled a fleet of about 10 small, Mediterranean-going bulkers. In the mid-1970s, it ventured into larger ships, ordering newbuildings at Japanese yards. His company’s expansion did not prevent George, a highly versatile personality, from pursuing other interests. In 1974, he was elected as a member of Greece’s first post-junta government. Seven years later, he was among the first Greek lawmakers to sit in the European Parliament. Delving into both politics and shipping was anything but simple. Splitting his time between the two did not allow him to do either properly, George wryly commented in later years. Dalex reclaimed George’s full attention in the 1980s, when the great shipping crisis struck. “It was really bad. I remember it well because I was 13 years old at the time and had my first whiff of company life in the office,” his son Vassilis said. " It was really