Aegean regatta 2nd leg. Only four boats managed to reach the finish line yesterday night, due to the light winds that prevailed during the last few miles to Vathi, Samos.
Once again, the boat to get line honors was George Andreadis's "Atalanti IX". It took ten and a half hours for the IMS optimized ILC 40 to cover the 40 miles course from Oinousses to Mesta Chios.
The sea area between Chios and the Turkish coast is a beautiful, typical Mediterranean scenery, that is most challenging for racing. On the east you have the Asian mainland that creates a very strong sea breeze from a North - North West direction. On the west side of the of the channel you have Chios and Oinousses. At the entrance of the channel the rather steep shore of Chios tend to strengthen the sea breeze of the mainland. But from Agia Eleni cape and on Chios's sea breeze blocks the sea breeze of the mainland and that creates some areas of calm, that stop at Venetiko. From there on the boats rejoin the north -north west sea breeze.
That was the case for yesterday's leg. The start was given at 10.00 o'clock sharp, as it was initially planned. It was a downwind start. The lee side of the line was favored, but just a few minutes before the wind picked up from the committee boat. Though the fleet was equally divided on the two sides the one that was fought for the hardest was the lee side. The first boat to start was the IMX 38 "Antara" driven by Ecky von der Mosel, Principal Race Officer of the Kieler Week and Chairman of the Offshore Race Management Committee of ISAF. Next across the line was Stavros Tzavalos "Erytos-Lancia Lybra". Most of the boats decided to take advantage of the channeling effect and then deal with the problems of the lee shore.
Most of the fleet had a very good downwind ride for about 14 miles, until the cape of Agia Eleni. From then on the wind died and came from many different directions. The crews had a hard time trying to keep up with the necessary sail changes. That was until Venetiko, a rock south of Chios. From then on the sea breeze of the mainland was established its self and the boats started heading north, moving upwind with 10 to 14 knots of wind. George Andreadis at that time had a very good opportunity to show his abilities as a helmsman. At that time "Atalanti IX" was some half an hour ahead of the rest of the fleet. The second boat to pass the mid point of the leg was "Ellinis". Thanassis Baksebanis and its crew sailed a very good race, and could have won in the IMS, especially after 'Atalanti" sailed in the calm. The IMXs at that time, and most of the ORC fleet were stuck at the south of Chios, trapped in the lee side of mount Merovigli.
But the good time were not going to last very long. "Ellinis" was stuck in the same calm as "Atalalnti IX" and had to wait until the night came in order to find some land breezes to reach the finish line. It took approximately 3 hours to sail the last 3 miles! The timing was much better for the IMXs "Alpha Card Notos" and "Erytos Lancia Lybra". The boats, that were at least 6 miles behind the leaders arrived at the calmy spot by night fall, just in time not to get stuck too much.
The ORC fleet were in much more trouble as they were left without wind, when the sea breeze died. The land breezes were not strong enough in order to fight the adverse current. So gradually, one by one they all abandoned the race.
Only 4 boats managed to finish the race, the ILC 40 "Atalanti IX", the Two Tonner "Ellinis" and the two IMX 38 "Alpha Bank Notos" and "Erytos-Lancia Lybra".
The fleet is now at Mesta in Chios waiting for tomorrow's start, which as the weather reports inform will most probably be held with strong northerly winds.
Pos Sail nr. Yacht Skipper Owner Class Obs Points
1 GRE-4 ALPHA BANK-NOTOS Theo Tsoulfas Alpha Bank IMSR 1
2 GRE- Ellinis Thanassis Baksebanis Ionnides IMSR 2
3 GRE-48 ATALANTI IX Stratis Andreadis George Andreadis IMSR 3
4 GR 10 ERYTOS - LANCIA LYBRA Kostas Manthos Tsavalos IMSR 2
The results of the ORC fleet remain unchanged.
For more photos and results go to the event website.