The Malta 2023 Tale…

Valletta, Malta 25th October 2023, 12:00.

Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship finished the 44th Middle Sea Race in 69th place out of 110 yacht teams from 25 countries.  In Class 2, Team OPTIMUM managed 11th place out of 16 entries but if one takes a closer look, the other 5 Class 2 entries have retired from the race for various reasons and never reached the finishing line.  This is a poor result by any means for a team that have done the race 7 times before, have won overall and have reached the podium in class 2 more often than not. 

“Team OPTIMUM had seen failures before, and we failed in this one.  However, out of failures, the team has got its act together, reacted, grew and evolved.  Not many offshore sailing teams worldwide out there have celebrated 30 years as we do this year.  The way I see the big picture as aftermath is that the team structure as is, could not carry the “load” of a second 600-mile race abroad like Rolex Middle Sea Race with the added logistics burden in the same season.  Winning the 60th Aegean Rally and reaching the podium in the AEGEAN 600 back to back was huge and momentum was drained”, says co-skipper and Team OPTIMUM and co-founder Nikos Lazos.

“I am sailing with Nikos offshore since 1981 and he has the ability to distant himself from the situation and view the big picture.  I totally agree with his view and I could add right here the technical issues we faced during the race that hindered our progress.  But there is no point.   In life, I choose to see the glass half-full and I am proud for the whole team, the hard work and time they put to train and prepare the boat, the tough and tiring upwind delivery to Malta, fighting a 4-day nonstop race, match racing up to the finishing line and delivering our precious race boat safe and sound back to base in Kalamaki N.C.  That is a huge effort from next door sailing enthusiasts who take time from work, family and other obligations and put up their best play.  And all together, we acquired more knowledge, more know-how, more skills, more detailed understanding, more training.  And we measured ourselves physically and mentally, reset our limits individually and as a team.  And we faced and learned enormously from tough competition ashore and offshore.  And we witnessed the youngsters in our team rise, take action and initiative, show dynamism and ambition.  And we managed and fixed breakdowns and issues and kept pushing in good old OPTIMUM spirit all the way.  And we enjoyed and shared with the first-timers, the unique confined rush of the start, the Messina Straits, the ever erupting Stromboli volcano, the west rounding of Sicily, Panteleria, Lampedusa, Gozo and Comino strait.  And out of all this we became more experienced, more hardened, more wise Team, ready to take on season 31! After all, it doesn’t look as much of a failure…”, confess co-skipper Periklis Livas.

Team OPTIMUM is fortunate having  a company with the maturity and deep understanding of maritime environment, stiff competition and rules, like Samos Steamship, which is our main supporter since 2019.  They stand by their Team equally in victory and defeat and sail along to the next challenge.  Thank you Samos and the Inglessis family for your caring approach and belief to our intentions and efforts.

To be continued…