Aegean Sea, Astypalaia island, Sunday 21 July 2019.
The 170 mile-long first leg of the 56th AEGEAN RALLY to picturesque Astypalaia island is done and dusted. OPTIMUM Yacht Racing Team from Nautical Club Kalamaki managed a 6th place at the scoring gate in Vathy, Sifnos and a 5th place at the finish line in Astypalaia, lying in 6th place overall. As always the competition for Greece’s top offshore sailing event is fierce and new boat/teams are leading the standings after the completion of 2 out of 6 races.
“We nailed the start, won the first cross from TP52 BULLET, rounded both Faliro Bay sausage course JOTUN marks first, and by committing to a course closer to the Athens riviera coastline we led the AEGEAN RALLY fleet all the way down to Cape Sounio. From then on, TP52 BULLET took the lead and crossed both finishing lines first with OPTIMUM 3 in second as expected. We pushed hard all the way for 20 hours, day and night, but were caught on a windless hole trap after Iraklia island for an hour being at the time hot on BULLET’s heels. That allowed BULLET to extend 10 miles ahead…oops! On handicap standings, that ultimately matters, the lower rated boats got the upper hand on a predominately downwind course. That does not diminish the success of X-362Sport PEGA, J-112E AIOLIA and Figaro 2-turbo COCOBILL II that currently lead the scoreboard”, comments talented young OPTIMUM Team navigator and Laser champion Charis Mavrogeorgis.
What is more important for Team OPTIMUM that last year celebrated 25 years is evolvement. We have clearly placed our bets for an OPTIMUM future in the young generation and all grey hair team members enjoyed watching the effort, passion and dedication from first timers and youngsters on board. Vassia Liva(14), Vassilis Livas(15) and Giorgos Papadopoulos Kouklakis(21) got their first glimpse of offshore sailing and together with Charis Mavrogeorgis(24), Vaggelis Nikolopoulos(28), Gary Gabrielan(30), Fanis Dalezios(33) we have every reason to believe that OPTIMUM Yacht Racing Team is here to stay!