OPTIMUM Success in the 50th AEGEAN RALLY!

In January 2013, Team OPTIMUM members drafted the racing schedule for the season around the main goal for 2013 which was competing and winning the 50th Anniversary edition of the Aegean Rally, the toughest and most important regatta in Greece. As such, we set our training and racing schedule so that to hit peak performance at the Aegean Rally. And we did Big Time by winning 1st place in all 5 races (4 offshore & 1 coastal) and raising the top speed record in the 50 year history of the Aegean Rally to 29,9 knots! We are so pleased with our performance and so are our sponsor ASPIDA Maritime Security. Our proven yacht OPTIMUM 3 – Aspida performed beyond expectation with her new sailplan that was tried in racing mode at the Aegean Rally first time, and that included the switch to a 2 m new bowsprit and 3 new and much larger asymmetric spinnakers approaching 300 sqm each! However, since the wind angle was not wide enough, we recorded the amazing speed of 29,9 knots under full main and Jib Top in a 38 knot gust of wind falling over a seriously steep wave…

“At this level the key word is preparation. You must prepare crew and equipment so that no one and nothing falls apart under pressure. And we had lots of pressure. Pressure from 6 to 8 Beaufort winds and sea state that never relaxed for the 10 days of the Aegean Rally. Pressure from the competition that never gave hope that they would pass us and was best expressed by the 9 seconds margin from second placed boat in race 3 after 7 hours of racing. Pressure from worrying that our experimenting bowsprit would fail… But it didn’t. Neither did we! After posting 2-0 and writing 29,9 knots of speed in the history of the Aegean Rally, during the debriefing in Patmos island, it was clear to me confidence was settling within the team and pressure was relaxing. And it was justified since we pushed our loyal OPTIMUM 3-Aspida like never before, in winds that topped 43 knots and mountainous seas and nothing broke and at the same time all 15 of us were smiling and having fun. Then we managed the 3-0 from Patmos to Koufonissia, and albeit the 9 secs margin on corrected time our confidence improved further. At race 4, the coastal at Koufonissia , the collision we had at the start and the 360 degrees penalty that we had to perform shacked our confidence until the second turning point, the rock Kopries. There, we hoisted our huge A3 spinnaker and OPTIMUM 3 –Aspida became airborne in the windy conditions and we never looked back. We secured 4-0 which meant that 5-0 was mathematically possible and we had an extensive briefing for offshore race 5 from Koufonissia to Cape Sounio. Our experienced skippers analyzed all critical turning points of the course in detail, alongside the latest weather report and its effects on how best to approach them. Also, sail selection was discussed in depth and everybody left the briefing with a clear picture and very focused. Luck always appears in sailing in various forms, but that was the mindset of the OPTIMUM crew when they achieved 5-0 for the first time in the 50th anniversary edition of the Aegean Rally. We prepared as a Team, we raced as a Team and we won as a Team, the OPTIMUM way. I am seriously overwhelmed and I respect all choices and decisions of our skippers through the years that allowed Team OPTIMUM to achieve all this with OPTIMUM 3 – Aspida Farr 52 One Design in her 14th racing season!”, analyzes Kostis Afentakis, long time OPTIMUM Team member and bowman. What is worth mentioning too is the TV coverage of the 50th Anniversary Aegean Rally by cable TV NOVA that produced 10 top quality 20 minute programs and 1 hourly round up story program that you can see at Team OPTIMUM 3 – Aspida holds the central role as the winner, but also because it supplied a lot of video footage to the production from the on board cameras that mastman/media man George Eliopoulos directed and by doing that allowed us to enjoy our worthy effort even more.

The OPTIMUM dream Team for this unparalleled success included Kostis Afendakis, Alexis Marougas, Petros Zamout, George Eliopoulos, Nikos Apostolakis, Giannis Kapos, Kostas Makridis, Alexis Chrysochoidis, Manolis Markogiannakis, George Panagiotidis, Gerasimos Petratos, Andonis Drilias, Lambros Nakis, Nikos Lazos and Pericles Livas, supported by a very personal and special way by our ASPIDA Maritime Security sponsor CEO, Panos Moraitis who from now one gets the title ‘President’ of Team OPTIMUM… To be continued… and don’t forget to visit regularly the team’s fb page