Milestones achieved in the third edition of the AEGEAN 600
16 July 2023 – Lavrion, GRE – The third edition of the annual AEGEAN 600, organized by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC) and co-organized by the Region of Attica, Olympic Marine and the Deputy Ministry of Sports, has now closed with several important milestones achieved.
These include the largest participation levels to date, with nearly 500 sailors racing on 45 yachts from 16 countries; a set of weather conditions and a race course set throughout the Aegean sea that challenges even the most experienced teams; and a new course record that has set a suitably high benchmark for future Maxis to come beat.
“What an event,” said Chris Sherlock, skipper of the Farr 100 LEOPARD 3 upon winning the AEGEAN 600 Trophy, the top overall prize of this race. “The hospitality was fantastic, the sailing was exceptional, and we look forward to coming back next year.” No doubt Sherlock and the team of 20 on board LEOPARD 3 will want to come back to defend the new course record they set of 45 hours 05 minutes 25 seconds for the 605-mile course.
“We did a major refit on the boat, and with a new rig, new winch package, new sails, every wire and pipe on the boat new a really big challenge for us. So to achieve what we did as a team led by the owner is fantastic.”
Eleven Maxis entered this year’s race, which was endorsed by the International Maxi Association (IMA) as part of its Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge circuit of events. IMA PR and Communications Officer Maria Luisa Farris said “From what I’ve been told by the owners the race course is amazing and the welcome from the organizers has been something special. So I would say this event has all the characteristics to grow more and more in the following years. I see more and more Maxis coming in the future.”
One of these enthusiastic Maxis was Guido Paolo Gamucci’s Mylius 60 CIPPA LIPPA X from Italy. Skipper Francesco Valla said “This was our first time attending the AEGEAN 600, it was an amazing race, great boat and a great committee. We’re looking forward to being here next year.”
Another was Gabriela Emhart from Germany, co-owner of the Maxi DEA, a CNB 66 from Malta. “This regatta was extreme,” she said. “We had tough winds, big waves, sometimes even more wind. I think this makes this regatta a very special event.”
Christian Ghelner, skipper of his Saffier 36 NITRO from Romania, earned third place in ORC Division 3, and said “This was maybe the most technical 600-mile race I have had until now, I had a very good crew, and I want to congratulate the organizers for this extremely amazing race with top-level competitors from around the world. Thank you.”
The prevailing sentiment among the owners and sailors in this edition is that not only did they enjoy this race immensely but will be coming back for more. “I had imagined this to be a very good race with spectacular views,” said IRC 3 and ORC 3 class winner Panagiotis Mantis from the Greek Hanse 508 PHAEDRA, “but what I experienced was way beyond. I am thrilled and can’t wait for next year.”
There were also some teams who failed to complete the course in last year’s race but persevered this year and met success.
“Last year we had to abandon the race just after the start due to an electronics failure,” said Pericles Livas, co-owner of the Carkeek 47 OPTIMUM S – SAMOS STEAMSHIP, overall winner in ORC scoring. “So this year our crew was really really hungry to push as hard as possible. We trained and prepared for over a year for this race. We managed to keep the pace and end up on the podium.”
“Next year we’re going to be back,” said Stuart Austin, skipper of the Outremer 4x catamaran QUICK DECISION from the UK, on having raced and completed his second AEGEAN 600 after having raced last year and failed to finish due to having a short-handed crew. “We’re so pleased to have done this race, next year we’re going to be back and do better again. The organizers are generous, they are welcoming, it’s a race everybody really should do. And to LYNX who beat us in our class, congratulations, but we’re coming back!”
This race even attracted an impressive crowd of participants in the Virtual Regatta version of the race.
There were 11,215 unique racers, with a 47% finish rate, a figure deemed to be quite good given the complexities of this course.
The virtual race winner was Filippo Bergami from Bologna, Italy who has won an invitation to watch the start of the race in person here in Lavrion next year.
The video of the AEGEAN 600 Prizegiving Ceremony can be viewed here:
Details of how the fleet progressed around the course in this edition of the race can be found using the YB tracker system, accessed at this link: https://cf.yb.tl/aegean6002023.
Images from this and previous editions of the AEGEAN 600 are available at https://bit.ly/AEGEAN600photos.
The race summary video can be seen below: