Optimum Yacht Racing Team is back in base in Nautical Club Kalamaki, and OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK rests on its cradle high above the sea. The 51st Aegean Rally, the top offshore and most challenging event in the Offshore Sailing Calendar in Greece and one of the oldest and toughest in the Mediterranean is over and Team OPTIMUM wrote another glorious page by competing successfully for 20th time since 1994 that it was established.
“We were almost 30 years old when we raced the 31st Aegean Rally as first time skippers of OPTIMUMM (Mumm 36) back in 1994. Prior to that and since 1981 we have participated in 6-7 Aegean Rally editions as crew on MARVIN and MARVIN AGAIN of Stamatis Lazos. That first night on the first leg from Faliro to Andros in force 9 winds and confused seas upwind in Kavo Doro, we did not only passed the test posting a 1st place but fell in love with the challenge. Since then, every year par 1996, we prepared boat and crew for another tough edition, on a different route, with new competitors, in terms of skippers, crews and boats. The glory of winning the 50th edition with 5-0 last year did not let us realize how far we have gone as OPTIMUM YACHT RACING TEAM. It was this year and our 20th tough challenge that went all the way to the wire to end up in 2nd place that led us to look back and realize that no other team/owner/skipper has launched 20 top notch challenges and has posted 16 podium positions, 7 of which are 1st place. We may be allowed to call it “Aegean Glory”. We also realized that these tough Aegean continuous tests and tastes of glory allowed us to be the only tough enough Greek team that keeps participating successfully in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, a true international long offshore sailing 600-mile race. This long and tough written record will hopefully get richer as the team moves forward and induces changes across all areas. We are hungry for more and our crew is better than ever to keep pushing hard. Our sponsors ASPIDA Maritime Security and SAXO BANK lived the Aegean action and can’t wait for the next challenge which is even tougher and is called 35thRolex Middle Sea Race starting and finishing in Malta in October. See you all there”, is the call and findings from our longstanding skippers-duo of Nikos Lazos and Pericles Livas.
Since this is the concluding article for the 51st Aegean Rally we are proud to repeat the battle-hardened crew of OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK that included: Alexis Maroungas, George Chatzigeorgiou and George Eliopoulos at the bow dept, Nikos Apostolakis and Giannis Kapos at the pit, trimmers Alexis Chrysochoides, Gerasimos Petratos, Manolis Markogiannakis assisted by grinders George Kyragiannis, George Belesis, Panos Moraitis and Antoine Drilias and guided by navigator Manos Roudas. Trimmer Lambros Nakis and bowman Alexandros Sofroniadis joined in Ios for the last victorious leg to Sounio replacing Giannis Kapos and Manos Roudas and refreshing our team spirit. The title of MVP for this Rally splits equal to two and goes to trimmers Manolis Markogiannakis and Gerasimos Petratos for their focused commitment during and after every leg of the race and for underlying what the Optimum team spirit is all about.
OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK, was also used as a test bench/lab for R & D for technical supporters Quantum Sails for our sail wardrobe,Kapa Ropes Technology for advanced ropes and the newly addedNanophos Marine Pioneering Nanotechnology for extra slippery/no drag hull and appendages. We are proud and thankful for their support and the same goes for our thousands of fans that cheered us up all along the way, following the great media work delivered by mastman/mediaman Yorgos Eliopoulos.
Please, stay tuned…