Andros Island, 27 August 2021, 08:00.
The organizers Yacht Club Andros and Yacht Club Greece advertise it as the “Toughest Yacht Race”. Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship has participated more than 15 times and by experience totally agrees with the description. A formidable crew of 15 with more than 50% under 30 years of age including 4 female sailors has been assembled from the OPTIMUM crew pool to try to defend this weekend our winner’s title in the 53rd edition in 2019.
“I did the race for the first time in 2019 and I felt tired but thrilled and challenged. It was tough work going upwind all the way up to Kavo Doro, then tough crossing the finishing line in Chora in pitch black night under severe 40+ knots gusts. It was toughest next day spinnaker-surfing and giving down to Disvato on mountainous waves in 35+ knots. This year I didn’t want to miss the fun and as mid-bowman I lost almost two kilos sweating, packing 9 times 300sqm spinnakers, assisted in 12 headsail changes, 11 gybes, 14 tacks and felt like “walking” to Andros moving from leeward to windward more than hundred times to balance the boat. So I have done the race two times so far and it is “tough” with or without wind”, declared 17-year old Vassilis Livas, an optimist-Laser4,7 champion and offshore sailing fan who slowly gets tough.
“I have my birthday today and I have celebrated it numerous times in Andros. I will always remember the 1983 edition. I was 16 year old racing on my father’s Dehler DB1 “Marvin” going upwind to reach Fasa lighthouse in 8 force winds. We banged and digger deep our bow on a serous wave that didn’t steer best in the pitch black and the mast snapped in two. Master disaster and a great experience in my early offshore days. Andros Race is always tough to race and hard to win. We love it” admits Team OPTIMUM co-principal Nikos Lazos.