NewsLine-up and final Countdown days for the start of the 44th ROLEX Middle Sea Race.

October 19, 2023

18th October 2023, Royal Malta Yacht Club, Valletta, Malta.

After an uneventful delivery but long and tiring upwind affair that lasted 68 hours, OPTIMUM S is berthed in Valletta next to 100+ entries from 25 countries.  After a good rest, the delivery crew is taking care of entry formalities and final detail preparations and awaits the rest of the racing crew on Thursday afternoon.  Friday is dedicated to a short training session, final preparations, skipper’s meeting, and crew dinner/briefing.  A good night sleep, early breakfast followed by the start countdown on Saturday, game on!

“It’s been 5 years since we did RMSR last time and it feels great to be back and enjoy the Maltese hospitality.  It is our first race abroad with OPTIMUM S and we are keen to find out where we stand among such brilliant competition.  As such, we have assembled an all male crew of Team OPTIMUM mix of veterans that count 32 RMSRs among them in total, blended with  graduates from OPTIMUM Sailing Academy as young as 18 years old.   Under the guidance of our sponsor Samos Steamship who believes strongly in the young and coming hard working generation in Greece, O.S.A. offers high-end offshore racing training and inspiration to young and new sailing enthusiasts who select to immerse in our world on board two O.S.A. Dehler 30ods.  All Team OPTIMUM members have been supporting the O.S.A. initiative and we all enjoy sharing and raise the well known OPTIMUM spirit with like minded fellow male and female sailors.  We are a 30 year old amateur sailing team from Greece that loves, promotes and inspires others to challenge themselves in a sport that resembles life values like no other”, says Team OPTIMUM co-Principal Nikos Lazos.

Although most of the 30+ team members proudly helped prepare our challenge for RMSR this 8th time around, the final Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship lineup reads: (age,RMSRs raced)

Fanis Dalezios(37, 0), bowman/trimmer, joined the Team in 2019 and is a gifted and enthusiastic photographer too.

Lefteris Grispos(18,0), bowman/trimmer, our youngest, an O.S.A. graduate and keen to learn and improve with impressive rigger capabilities for his age.

Nikos Kountouriotis(41, 0), pitman/trimmer, brought his daughter in N.C.Kalamaki for Optimist sailing school and saw Team OPTIMUM preparing for a race and remembered his sailing days back with his father… Four years later that is what’s happening to him.

Manolis Markogiannakis(52, 3), trimmer/lawyer, takes care of most divorce cases within the team and makes sure OPTIMUM spirit is always on a high.

Patroklos Tachtatzis(44, 3) trimmer/speed keeper, designs and builds our OPTIMUM sails since 2012 in his loft in Greece as key member of the Quantum Sails group.

Vasileios Livas(19, 0), bowman/driver, also takes care of our flight height control as a formula kite maestro and dreams of helping the team beat its previous speed record of 33.7 knots after hearing the legends of how it earned them the overall victory in RMSR 2004, the year he was born.

Vaggelis Karas(62, 5), trimmer/pitman, who volunteers to keep us fed and nutritioned and the boat as tidy and dry as possible throughout the race.

Evangelos Nikolaidis(52, 0), trimmer/grinder and our electronics expert for the race who passionately found his way in the team through the O.S.A/Dehler initiative.

Georgios Papadopoulos Kouklakis(25, 0), trimmer/driver, talented and accomplished Laser sailor with huge potential in anything he commits in life through his fully focused approach. 

Lambros Nakis(46, 2), trimmer/driver, mister fixer and carbon composites enthusiast, can become problem solver on demand.

Thanassis Baxevanis(60, 5), watch leader/driver, is a regular invitee from Team OPTIMUM for RMSR challenges, who shares his skills, knowledge and character to raise our game.

Periklis Livas(58, 7), watch leader/driver/co-skipper, prefers to take the blame on anything that might go wrong, to keep the team focused and productive.  This tactic looks like it has served well for at least 30 Optimum years…

Nikos Lazos(56, 7), tactician/navigator/co-skipper, keeps the team high and dry with his bold positions and decisions and at the same time hanging on with Periklis for 43 sailing years.  That’s tough really…

Driven by the OPTIMUM spirit and supported by Samos Steamship, Navarino, Helly Hansen, Kappa Ropes, Rope Align, family, friends and fans Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship will try to make the most out of the opportunity of competing in RMSR 2023 and represent Greece in the best possible way.