Race 4 of the 51st Aegean Rally turned out tough for OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK that managed a 7th and dropped to 3rd overall in the overall standings. The offshore leg from Astypalea to Ios represented sailing in a lake and not in the Aegean Sea end of July. The very light winds that prevailed and glass mirror seas was the order of the day and led a few teams to quit racing. The Optimum crew had a great start and actually led the first 1/3 of the race only to stop on a windless spot that allowed the pursuing yacht teams to take notice and change their tactics accordingly and overpass or close up which is detrimental in handicap racing. The Optimum guys tried hard to escape and to position themselves better for the next stop n’ go scenarios that kept rolling but were caught tactically off face most of the time as the result underlines.
“We had a great start and kept really close to the faster “Bullet”. In the last Cape, as we were leaving Astypalea behind for the 68 mile dash to Ios, we got a better breath of breeze and slowly got ahead of the whole fleet and led for the next 20 miles. Then we stopped, and “Bullet” on the leeward kept moving better, soon to take the lead. The rest of the fleet saw the incident and acted accordingly to avoid our weak position. From then on, our tactical choices did not work out but the guys never stopped working hard to better our position. I guess the hit of this racing day was not the result but a magnificent sight of dolphins jumping around our slow moving OPTIMUM 3”, says newcomer grinder at OPTIMUM Yacht Racing Team, George Belesis.
There is one more leg to go from Ios to Cape Sounio finishing line under the ancient Poseidon Temple, and mathematically 7-8 different yacht teams can win the 51st edition of the Aegean Rally. OPTIMUM 3-ASPIDA-SAXOBANK will fight hard and a podium finish would make us really proud and keep our fans and sponsors ASPIDA Maritime Security and SAXOBANK enthused. However, the “Bullet” crew scored a ‘bullet’ in leg 4 and is in a superior position to win this one and will not let it slip out of their hands now after our poor result in Leg 4. Thumbs up for “Chiara Iason” of our Nautical Club Kalamaki for another great 2nd place result. Good job guys!