Athens, Tuesday, July 28th, 2015, 12:00.
The 52nd Aegean Rally, Greece’s top offshore sailing event just entered the history book. OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK took the silver podium position after four demanding offshore races with a score line of 5, 1, 6, 2 and racing a total of 222 nautical miles. No less than 18 Optimum crew were part of the repeated success this year, that allows Team OPTIMUM to be the most successful team over the 52-year history of the Aegean Rally. In the 21 editions the team has participated from 1994 to 2015, OPTIMUMM(36-footer) and OPTIMUM 3(52-footer) has achieved podium positions 17 times, including 7 times 1st, 6 times 2nd and 4 times 3rd. Team leaders/skippers/owners Nikos Lazos and Periklis Livas have a lot to say about their hard to beat record:
“It is getting harder and harder every year, especially the last five years with the economic situation in Greece. But we are still inspired to put all the hard work required to have a chance to reach the podium. This year the inspiration came from the success in the Rolex Middle Sea race, the last race of the 2014 season. There, we were pushed over the limit. Way over..! People and gear. Afterwards, we sat down and we decided changes. Changes that would inspire us to go one more racing season, full on. So, new guys were invited to join, strictly under 30 years old that made serious contribution with their freshness, willingness and stamina. The mentality on board shifted to racing fighting mode and we have enjoyed 27 races so far in the 2015 season, escaping at the same time from the misery all Greeks are going through. And we did not hold back, and we inspired our sponsors too to fight alongside our team, and here we are finishing another Aegean Rally second to BULLET-ENCODE TP52 Sailing Team, a formidable team guided by Olympic Champion Dimitris Deligiannis & Co(Kamburides, Sinouris). We can only thank our crew for their contribution of long hours of hard work before and after every race and more importantly for their fighting spirit during racing. We deeply appreciate the time and effort they invest in the team, and that inspire us back to stay true to our word and find ways to keep the Optimum Team going in such hard times. And that is the logic one can say underlines Team OPTIMUM. The rest is a hot Love Affair, were logic drops dead and feelings take control.”
As always, in the prestigious prize giving ceremony for the 52nd Aegean Rally, we had our share of Optimum glory but more importantly had the chance to celebrate and share our long time success story with our valuable sponsors ASPIDA Maritime Security and SAXO BANK that were kindly invited to join in by hosts Hellenic Offshore Racing Club and Greek Navy. These team articles work as team history book chapters, so the heroine and the heroes of the 52nd Aegean Rally that battled successfully the extreme conditions from 0 to force 8 conditions are: newcomers 19 year-old Elisavet Mazaraki, Gary Gabri, Stratis Tsamparlis, and old school royals George Hatzigeorgiou, Giannis Kapos, Nikos Apostolakis, Alexis Chrysochoides, Manolis Markogiannakis, Kostas Makridis, George Kyragiannis, Thanos Papasideris, Gerasimos Petratos, Patroklos Tachtatzis, Lambros Nakis, Manos Roudas, Periklis Livas and Nikos Lazos.