Optimum Yacht Racing Team is going through various checklists and puts the necessary work on board OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK, as the departure day to Valetta, Malta approaches fast. The 35thRolex Middle Sea Race starts on Saturday, October 18th and is very likely that the entries will exceed the one hundred mark and break the entry record yet again. Up to now, about 80 teams from 18 countries are registered to have a go on the longest and toughest race in the Mediterranean that follows an anti-clockwise 606 nautical mile route, through the Messina Straits, leaving Sicily, active volcano Stromboli, Pandeleria and Lampedusa islands on port to finish back to Malta. Sailing non-stop for 4 to 6 days in the heart of Mediterranean following a spectacular course and racing up against top teams/yachts from around the world fuels the thirst for the OPTIMUM crew to join for 6th time this year.
“In the classic Team Optimum January meeting, it was clear to all that the aim for 2014 would be to add another chapter to the Middle Sea Race story book. As such, we have completed all training and racing according to schedule which was set in such a way so that we reach peak performance in Malta. Team OPTIMUM has competed in the Rolex Middle Sea Race before in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2012. The story book recalls memories that run the whole spectrum of feelings. Glory in the stormy and victorious 2004 to total depression upon retirement to survive in the 2007 edition that the fleet encountered cyclonic weather conditions. In fact, it took us five years to forget how tough it was out there, and we only got our act together in 2012 when we managed 4th in IRC and 1st in ORCi overall. We skipped the 2013 edition to concentrate winning the anniversary 50th Aegean Rally in our home waters. We return this year with a very competent and mature team, and feel well set for a serious challenge ahead. Among the 15-strong crew line-up one can count no fewer than 43 participations in the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Some are even dreaming to repeat the 2004 feat of winning 1st place overall in both IRC and ORCi categories. Our sponsors ASPIDA Maritime Security and SAXO BANK are enthusiastically backing our efforts at this highly international competition and we are looking forward to post a positively emotional story this time around too”, confesses co-skipper Nick Lazos looking ahead at the October showdown.
At this first Malta news-story, we are proud to announce the all-Greeks OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK crew lineup with the number of previous participations in the parenthesis after every name: Nick Lykiardopoulo(8), Pericles Livas(5), Nikos Lazos(5), Alexandros Maroungas(5), Kostas Makridis(5), Vangelis Karas(4), George Eliopoulos(3), Thanassis Baxevanis(3), Nikos Apostolakis(1), Gerasimos Petratos(1), Manolis Markogiannakis(1), Lambros Nakis(1), Patroklos Tachtatzis(1) and first timers Alexandros Sofroniadis and Thanos Timotheou.
Although OPTIMUM Yacht Racing Team have repeatedly offered publicly that will assist any other Greek Team to compete, there were no takers and Team OPTIMUM will be the only team competing from Greece and being alone in the deliveries to and from Malta and the race itself reduces the fun factor by half.
Watch this page for Malta news-story No.2, next week