Dawn 6:45 Sunday morning at the start of Posidonia week.

It used to be the time night owls were stumbling back to their hotel rooms after a long, loud and liquid night.

This year it was time for something new.

Idan Ofer and his team at Eastern Pacific Shipping took to the saddle with a cycle ride for partners, clients and friends from the Astir Marina, where the multi-billionaire’s yacht Better Space was moored.

The mini-peloton of about 30 riders blazed south down the coast as dawn broke on another perfect blue sky Greek day, before a first stop at the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.

Driving force

“We had to stop here to ask Poseidon’s blessing on all our clean shipping investments,” joked Ofer about the ancient Greek god of the sea.

Eastern Pacific has one of the world’s largest newbuilding programmes, with about 80 vessels worth more than $6bn on order. Its decarbonisation investments date back to 2018, when it signed one of the world’s first orders for an LNG dual-fuel boxship.

After the photo stop at the temple, it was off again for a roll down to Lavrio — with a quick hill climb effort for those who were keen — before coffees and transfer to Ofer’s state-of-the-art Damen-built Better Space yacht tender and a voyage back to Voula.

Eastern Pacific chief executive Cyril Ducau has been the driving force behind bringing cycling and other activities not only to his fellow executives but also to the company’s 6,000 staff worldwide.

Ducau, who raced a little as a teenager growing up in that cycling hotbed, France, got back into cycling about six years ago before things really took off during the pandemic lockdown.

Eastern Pacific has been organising sporting charity fundraisers in which staff take part wherever they are, cycling or running, indoors and out, linked by social media apps.

“And of course, as soon as Idan started to get involved, then everyone was on board,” he added with a smile. Organising the Posidonia ride was Harry Odling, a cyclist and Eastern Pacific community manager.

Ofer’s Quantum Pacific has sponsored a cycling team in Singapore for the past couple of years, clinching some quality wins. And Ducau has plans for more community-building biking events up his sleeve this autumn.

Among those who made the 6:45 am start time were Hafnia’s Mikael Skov; Antoine Bonnier, Quantum Pacific; Nick Wood, Affinity (Shipping); Erik Helberg, Clarksons Securities; Alexander Pettersson, Westshore Raffles; Jan Norgaard Lauridsen, Heidrick & Struggles; Nick Sjoberg, Kontiki Shipbrokers; Thomas Preben Hansen, Eastern Pacific; Gil Ofer; Manu Ravano, Ifchor Galbraiths; and Richard Tyrrell, Cool Company.