The UK P&I and UK Defence participated once again in the 51st International Andros Yacht Race “Ioannis V. Goulandris” which took place on 30 August -2 September 2018. Last year, the team took first place for winning the opening leg of the Race. This year, the ‘Etesian Meltemia’- strong, dry north winds of the Aegean Sea- played havoc with the 17 yachts entered in the Race and deterred others from participating. The first leg, a distance of 72 miles and designed as a night race, commenced with the yachts departing at 2pm on August 30th from Vouliagmeni Bay in Athens. From there they headed north through the challenging Kafireas Straights (Cavo D’ Oro) and around the North-West tip of Andros Island, leading to Chora, the main town of Andros Island on the East coast. The team came fourth out of seven in the ORCi Class completing the 72 nm in 9 hours. The hungry and exhausted crews were welcomed on arrival with a traditional meat soup!
Given that the prevailing winds persisted, the various informal races, which were to be held off the town of Chora, were postponed and then cancelled as the wind speeds reached close to 50 knots! In the final race, the return leg from Chora to Dysvato (Tinos lighthouse) commenced with the yachts racing upwind towards the first buoy with wind speeds around 25 knots. From the first buoy towards Dysvato, the yachts sailed on a broad reach with their spinnakers up towards Dysvato. In some places, however, the wind speeds increased gusting 40 knots which proved too strong for the mainsails and spinnakers of some unfortunate yachts. Our team, travelling about 14-15 knots, were thrilled with the conditions and ploughed along to take the line honours in the ORCi Class with a 5 minute interval from the second yacht finishing behind them (on corrected time). When the results were announced, the triumphant champions of the Posidonia Cup 2018 were delighted to hear that they had won the return leg AND were at the top of the overall classification table for the ORCi Class. This result meant ARISTOFANI had won the 51st International Andros Yacht Race!
Amongst the crew were Alex Pattakos of NJ Goulandris, Michael Chanouzas (H1), Alec Kyrle-Pope (London office) and Costas Zoidis (H1) who together with the rest of the crew and skipper Panagiotis Kambouridis were awarded the coveted trophy at the prize giving ceremony held on 3 September at the Yacht Club of Greece.
Photos from the event can be seen below: