Athens, Greece. Monday, 6th July 2020.
OPTIMUM Yacht Racing Team campaigns this year its 27th season and due to the Covid-19 virus situation, lots of thought about the OPTIMUM future went on. It’s about five years now that young (under 30) and enthusiastic sailors with various sailing backgrounds are recruited and immersed in the OPTIMUM Team spirit. Our partnership with Samos Steamship has strengthen our view that the future and evolution of any team in business or sport relies on the ability to invite, welcome, support and promote the up and coming New Generation. As such, for the 2020 season and beyond Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship will be skippered by the young, tried and tested duo of Charis Mavrogeorgis(25) and Vaggelis Nikolopoulos(29). These guys have proved their metal from bow to stern, are very serious, hard working, low profile, well educated, talented all-round sailors and super competitive from very young age. Their CV’s are impressive for their age but more impressive is their ability to evolve what they learn from the mature team members and by doing so they drag the team up to a whole new level.
“I am campaigning offshore racing boats with Periklis Livas from the age of 14, this is 40 years now! The last 27 years we have established Team OPTIMUM as one of the top teams in Greece and well-recognised internationally. Team OPTIMUM is among the favourite teams to win any regatta we enter in Greece or abroad and more often than not we reach the podium. There is a lot of depth, knowledge, experience, data and knowhow across boat preparation, crew organization-training-selection, scheduling, maintaining, competing, provisioning, transporting, budgeting, marketing, team building, developing, upgrading, you name it. We have reached that level through hard work, costly mistakes and hardships. We want all this accumulated OPTIMUM value to flourish further on the hungry and thirsty minds and bodies of serious youngsters. My father, Stamatis Lazos, trusted me and Periklis back in the 1980s, it is our time to do the same. It is the only way that Team OPTIMUM may thrive in the decades to come and not disappear as usually is the case in sailing teams positioned around the owner(s) and not the team spirit and philosophy”, declares Nikos Lazos ex. co-skipper, now navigator and co-Team Principal.
“The young passionate guys for racing sailing off today are standing on a whole new level. At the age of “under 30” they come with at least 20 years of sailing with a coach in a rib next to them, sailed in tens of countries, have competed in hundreds of races, found themselves in thousands of congested olympic class starts and have faced fierce competition. Their spilt-second decision making process is second nature by now and it is fun to see they have thought and are ready to respond on any rival boat move with comfort. Nothing like the way we learned sailing by asking and watching the “older” guys in order to develop and get better. It might be a coincidence but I used to race in the 1970s against Charis’s father Panos in wooden optimists with wooden masts, later in Lasers and together onboard OPTIMUMM Mumm36 back in the 1990s. Vaggelis’s grandfather used to get all of us “under 10″ years old after Optimist training on his Albin 25 in the 1970s for a blast reach under spinnaker and taught us the magic of offshore boats. Actually Vaggelis is one of the few third generation sailors in Greece as his father is also operating the Offshore Sailing School of our Nautical Club Kalamaki and has fed in many members on Team OPTIMUM”, says Periklis Livas ex. co-skipper, now co-helmsman and co-Team Principal.
“Our new partner/sponsor Samos Steamship is very supportive and enthusiastic in promoting the new generation to take up positions with responsibility and lead. From now on, I will be mixing members of the old Team OPTIMUM squad full of experience with the restless young guns full of energy on a 50/50 basis more or less. Charis entered Team Optimum in 2016 at the age of 21. He quietly worked hard developing and upgrading our electronics pack and won our respect on helming and/or trimming the mainsail on surfing conditions or suggesting key tactical moves offshore or around the cans in boat to boat situations. Vaggelis was the steady and secret power behind the six year rise of the CHIARA IASON Team that peaked by beating us in second in the 2018 Aegean Rally. Team CHIARA IASON owner and friend Nikos Fotiou, member of our Nautical Club Kalamaki too, was happy to “lend” his trusted youngsters Nikolopoulos, Serraos and Dalezios for the successful raid in the 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race. When subsequently in 2019 he decided to switch in motor boating these excellent guys decided to stick with Team OPTIMUM and won our hearts. Gabrielan, Papadopoulos, Mylonas, Livas Jr. alongside the Samos associates Venetsanos, Milionis, Triantogiannis, Patsikas and Zorgia fill up my ‘under 30” list. This list combined with the list of decorated active Optimum members Afentakis, Makridis, Markogiannakis, Tachtatzis, Kapos, Nakis, Roudas, Dikastopoulos, Petratos, Dellidou, Eliopoulos, Kyragiannis, Karas and myself plus Nikolakis, Varvaresou, Tzvetkov, Xanthopoulos, Golovanov, Antonopoulos and Katechos from Samos Steamship provide me unlimited options for race crew formation for all type of regattas”, confesses veteran crew boss Nikos Apostolakis.
So promoting the New Generation is our plan and investment for an OPTIMUM future.
Follow our preparation and participation in the first race of Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship of the “Covid-19” 2020 season, the 57th Aegean Rally!