AEGEAN 600 fleet ready to race tomorrow

AEGEAN 600 fleet ready to race tomorrow
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AEGEAN 600 fleet ready to race tomorrow

Lavrion, Greece -- 9 July 2022 - After many days of preparation at the Olympic Marine facility, and well-attended safety training and social events, the teams entered from 14 nations will be ready at 14:00 local time to start the second edition of the AEGEAN 600. With a turning mark set at the base of the cliff-top gaze of the ancient Temple of Poseidon, there are few other starting venues in the offshore racing world with such a dramatic backdrop.

This is one of many factors that have attracted not only the owners and their vessels to this year’s edition of the race, but numerous talented and professional team members who hail from 25 nations around the globe. Organizers from the Hellenic Offshore Sailing Club (HORC) welcome them to this event as well as the owners of their vessels, and have noted that a substantial increase in first-time participation from these pro-level sailors indicates a growing awareness and popularity of the event in the world of offshore racing.

For example, there was enough interest and participation this year to form a Maxi Class of four large yachts from three nations, whose results will be included in the International Maxi Association’s (IMA’s) Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge. Among these Jean Philippe BlanPain’s (ITA) Vismara/Mills 62 LEAPS & BOUNDS 2 rates the fastest in IRC and ORC scoring, and would be expected to challenge the elapsed time course record over the 605-mile course of 2D 23H 54M set last year by the Farr/Felci 70 ATALANTA II. Owner Carlo Alessandro Puri Negri was unable to attend this year but intends to return in 2023, and there is already interest from other Maxi-sized racing yachts from as far as the USA for next year’s race.

Other fast yachts to watch include Philipp Kadelbach’s (GER) Elliot 52 RAFALE and Gregor Stimpfl’s (ITA) Scuderia 65 HAGAR V, a returning entry from last year’s event.

There are eight Greek-flagged boats in the fleet, some of which are chartered by foreign teams. Among them is the impressive ORMA 60 trimaran from Santorini AKRON AOTON, one of five multihulls entered from five nations, and skippered by Ioannas Barkas (GRE). "This year we will be in the AEGEAN 600 race,” he said. “This event is important because it helps to promote and advertise our country. This year's entries are of a high level and there will be great competition."

While not first-to-finish contenders, there is also another class of competitors important to the AEGEAN 600: double handed entries. An intent by HORC was for the race to be scored as the inaugural European ORC DH Championship, but only four entries from three nations was not fitting the participation criteria for a continental championship level event. Nonetheless, this could be an interesting race and a significant challenge on a long 605-mile race course given the diversity of boat types entered among “specialist” DH designs.

For example, AETHER (GRE) is a fast water-ballasted Dehler 30 introduced three years ago to meet the demand for DH sailors, with the couple team of Gerasimos Petratos and Evi Delidou racing this week. PNEUMA (POL) is a JPK 10.30 being raced by Andrzej Rozycki and Adam Skomski, and this design has met with tremendous success in DH racing elsewhere in Europe, most recently winning Class B at the ORC DH World Championship last week at the Gotland Runt.

And Mini-Transat boats are legendary in the oceanic shorthanded fleets in France for their seaworthiness and performance in a small 20-foot package. KALLISTI (GRE) is a Mini Transat 6.5 being raced by Athanasios Gkikas and Nikos Lykos.

Olympic Marine was the venue yesterday for an impressive Opening Ceremony attended by, among others, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, the Regional Governor of Attica Georgios Patoulis, the General Secretary of Sports Giorgos Mavrotas, the Deputy Regional Governor of Finance of Attica Nikos Peppas, and Giorgos Prokopiou, the Commodore of the Yacht Club of Greece and owner of Olympic Marine. This event would not be possible without the strong support from Olympic Marine as a co-organizer with HORC, providing full-service logistical support and berthing in a world-class marina setting. All participants have expressed their appreciation for this important feature of the AEGEAN 600.

The weather forecast for tomorrow’s start looks perfect: moderate northerlies at 12-15 knots to get the fleet down the first leg of the course from Sounio towards Milos with good speed. This breeze is forecast to get lighter in the evening but still allow progress on the first night of race.

Daily race analysis videos will be recorded by SEAHORSE Magazine’s Dobbs Davis to comment on the race based on weather patterns and position data of the fleet from YB trackers. The link for the tracker system is at https://aegean600.com/tracking.
The AEGEAN 600 is organized by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC) and co-organized with Region of Attica and Olympic Marine.

AEGEAN 600 is implemented with the institutional cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the General Secretariat of Sports. Sponsors are the Greek National Tourism Organization and D. KORONAKIS S.A. The event is supported by X-Yachting, ZAGORI, Nisos beer and Gregory’s. Suppliers of the race are Chicago shoes, Dole and Youth Lab. Communication sponsors are ALPHA, the newspaper KATHIMERINI, the sports newspaper SPORtime, the magazines ONDECK, SAILING WORLD, SEAHORSE and BOATS & YACHTING as well as the HELLENIC DAILY NEWS NY.


Text Credits: Dobbs Davis
Photo Credits: HORC / George Alevromytis

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