Kalamaki, Greece, 3 days before the start of 58th AEGEAN Rally.
Photo credit: Nikos Alevromytis
It is only a week ago that Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship crossed the finish line of the inaugural AEGEAN 600 posting a 2nd place in IRC and 1st in ORC standings. As planned, after 2 days of rest, team members resumed operations, checked and maintained all systems on board OPTIMUM 3 and we are 100% ready to push hard to repeat last year’s victory again in upcoming 58th Aegean Rally. It is the 27th time that Team OPTIMUM will participate in the Aegean Rally in 28 years. Beyond any doubt it is through these repeated participations in the lengthy and tough Aegean Rally that the Team has reached this level of experience, is capable to perform in any conditions and reach the podium more often than not. In its 58 year history, H.O.R.C.’s Aegean Rally has always offered a different course of about 300 miles with two or three different island stopovers every year, which is exactly what makes this race unique and never boring. This year the race visits Tinos and Psara islands, consists of five legs/races, the start is from Faliro Bay in Athens on Saturday 17/7 and the finish in Cape Sounio under the Poseidon Temple on Sunday 25/7.
Skippers Charis Mavrogeorgis(26) and Vaggelis Nikolopoulos(30) will lead the crew of fifteen. Christos Stathas(16), Stavros Kouklakis-Papadopoulos(20), Giorgios Kouklakis-Papadopoulos(23), Anna Agrafioti OLY(30), Giannis Kapos, Nikos Apostolakis, Nikos Kountouriotis, Alexandros Venetsanos, Artemis Nestori and Periklis Livas will go around the full course and will be assisted in various legs/races by George Eliopoulos, Apostolos Serraos, Kostas Makridis, Tasos Dikastopoulos, Konstantinos Tsigaras and Nikos Lazos.
“We prefer to have the same crew in all legs of the race but that was impossible this year. Not everybody was able to leave work for another week back to back with the Aegean 600. But that gives the opportunity to more OPTIMUM Team members or new recruits to join for one or two legs and get a real life taste of the OPTIMUM spirit. The addition of female seasoned offshore sailor Artemis Nestori, underlines the change from a full men lineup to the inclusion of two women for the Aegean Rally, as part of the worldwide call for gender equality in sailing that we totally believe and support. Women with the right attitude can elevate the game of the whole team as was the case with Anna Agrafioti OLY in the Aegean 600. There are not that many available women around but surely Team OPTIMUM attracts the best there is”, admits crew boss Nikos Apostolakis.
Samos Steamship have been providing their full support especially on giving the chance to the under 30 Team OPTIMUM members to explore their limits and try to be successful and responsible on key new roles for almost two years now. The OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship partnership have generated only victories from day one until today. Team spirit is full on so expect pedal to the metal and no holding back performance in the Aegean Rally.
Three days to go, stay tuned!