N.C.Kalamaki, Alimos, Tuesday 14th November 2023.
Team OPTIMUM members Vaggelis Nikolopoulos and Periklis Livas joined forces again this year for the 4th Greek Double Handed Nationals. Their weapon of choice was OPTIMUM 4, Dehler 30od borrowed for the event from OPTIMUM Sailing Academy. They repeated their silver podium position overall like last year, and managed first in class A, as this year the overall winner was from class B. A Record 23 entries registered this year, only 10 of which made it to the finish line. So was it that tough?
“We had a wind forecast for up to 30 knots from SW later in the day and we were clocking 20 knots at the start. So, we took a reef on the main and jib, filled the port water ballast tank and made a pin end port start and lead the fleet all the way from start to finish, 24 hours later. In between we had our hands full day and night, reefing on and off, dealing with breakages and other technical issues, fatigue, blowing a spinnaker during a takedown in 25 knots, making tactical choices, dealing with sleepiness, keeping the boat intact and tidy. After passing first the midpoint gate about 10 hours from the start, we considered retiring as we were feeling exhausted but decided to keep on and try get some rest since the wind has eased to about 12-15 knots. Fortunately it was a warm night, almost pleasant and the Race Committee informed us few hours later, that the course was shortened by one leg and that was really welcome news. Sunrise found us on the last leg to the finish in Voula with a a good lead over our pursuers. Approaching Fleves, the wind died on us and not much later boats appeared on the horizon in our stern, becoming larger fast. We hoisted our upwind Code 0, which is very effective in the very light wind situations, and exploited any line of wind there was and made it to the finish to take line honors, feeling sure for a handicap win in Class A and podium overall. Our minds and bodies were way over their limit as we never really slept more than an hour each. It was 24 hour long and tough race, and the winners worth their national titles by all means, congratulations to all. We make a great duo with Periklis and we did bag in an over our limits experience. Happy End after all..”, says a full warn out Vaggelis Nikolopoulos.
We dedicate our National titles to O.S.A. supporters LALIZAS, PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGIES and QUANTUM SAILS, apparel partners HELLY HANSEN and rope technology partners KAPA ROPES. Without their warm and cheerful support, success would have been much harder to achieve.