09:00, Friday 28th July, 2023, IOS Island, Greece.
Another win in the second leg of the 60th Anniversary of the Aegean Rally from Syros to Ios followed by a second place in the coastal race 3 around Ios island, has allowed Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship to lead the scoreboard so far. Although there was some more wind than Leg 1, the expected “meltemi” north winds haven’t showed up yet and extreme heat is on the cards, tiring everyone racing.
Optimum youth team on board O.S.A.’s OPTIMUM 4 did not start leg 2 due to a serious technical issue but managed to score 5th in race 3, showing promising flashes of performance noted by fellow competitors.
“Winning the Aegean Rally has never been easy and although we lead, all Team OPTIMUM members know that we won Leg 2 by only 3 minutes from the very capable Team VELOS and lost the first place in Race 3 from last year’s winner Team PEGA for two minutes after long hours of racing. Mathematically we will end up on the podium but it is clear we have to put up a good fight for the top spot. Spirits are high among us, Ios island fantastic and I can only complain for too much heat. We can’t really celebrate as our worrying thoughts are with those living the fire drama in Rhodes and across other places in Greece, praying to end soon”, says Mily Tirla, the only Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship female member in our lineup for this race.
“It is the first AEGEAN Rally for all of us on OPTIMUM 4 and we are thrilled to be part of the 60th anniversary edition. It has been really hard so far with a DNF in Leg 1, a DNS in Leg 2 and a costly 5th in race 3. But at the same time, through hardship, we build team spirit and we are enjoying a steep learning curve. We are thankful to O.S.A. and its supporters LALIZAS-PERFORMANCE-QUANTUM Sails for providing the opportunity, the training, the race boat and a coach to such a young group of sailing enthusiasts to expand our sailing ambitions and live a lifetime experience”, says Nikolas Stavropoulos, OPTIMUM 4 co-skipper.
Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship and OPTIMUM 4- LALIZAS/PERFORMANCE/QUANTUM are preparing for final Leg 4 from Ios to Cape Sounio legendary finish line under the Temple of Poseidon. Some more wind is expected, looks like an upwind climb to the finish with some tricky “corners” to deal with.
“We aim high, you stay tuned!”