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July 25, 2018

Lipsi Island, July 25th, 2018.

All of us involved and competing in the 55th Aegean Rally are devastated by the National wildfire tragedy that is going on back in Eastern Attica area, since there are still hundreds of people missing. Nobody is in the mood to celebrate but we must continue to fight and be part for a good cause as is the cleaning of more beaches in Lipsi as we did in Amorgos and will continue in Paros organized by HORC and HELMEPA.

As for the racing part, AFRICANA-Team OPTIMUM managed a 4th place finish in Lipsi and stands in 3rd place overall on equal 6 points with ALSOUMA on 2nd place. CHIARA IASON won this leg and is leading the overall standings with 4 points.

“We jumped the start along with three more boats and had to return and restart in very light winds. We did and fought hard to recover our position as third fastest(on paper) boat in the fleet by the turning point, in Donousa island to starboard. From then on, we trimmed on and off continuously to surf as best we could every single wave for the next 40+ nautical miles.

Our reward was to manage to pass VV4(ex ATALANTI), a well sailed ILC40, 3-4 miles before the finish line. When ORCi constructed course handicap applied, it was clear that the mistake at the start and a small equipment failure along the way costed us dearly as CHIARA IASON who won the leg was less than 10 min ahead on corrected time”, says trimmer Deea Buzdugan the only remaining female on board as bowwoman Tonia Bami-Makridis was replaced as planned from regular bowman Gary Gabrielan.

Leg 3 from Lipsi to Paros island starts on Thursday at 10:00, so there is more to come.

Our thoughts remain tight with all those that suffer from the catastrophic wildfire.