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J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Aegean 600 day 4: Atalanta II first to finish

by Offshore Racing Congress 7 Jul 19:44 BST 4-10 July 2021

At 14:10 local time today, Carlo Alessandro and Puri Egri's Atalanta II from Italy crossed the finish line at Cape Sounio six minutes short of exactly three days before they started the inaugural edition of the Aegean 600 on Sunday. The flat black 70-foot Farr/Felci design led the fleet nearly the entire race, sailing 653 actual miles on the 605-mile course for an average speed of just over 9.0 knots.

"This new race was fantastic, it has met my expectations," declared skipper Francesco de Angelis, a veteran of numerous other offshore races as well as the America's Cup. "I knew this would be a difficult course with many turns and many changes to keep us challenged. We saw everything from no wind to 28 knots, from drifting to reefing, and throughout we worked hard at keeping the boat moving at her best while also navigating carefully. The weather was close to the same as the forecast, but with lots of local effects that kept everyone busy."

The team on Atalanta II had an added challenge: the powered winches on the boat where inoperable, so the crew had to manually hoist and trim the sails without help from power or pedestals, not an easy task for a boat with a mast height of 30 meters. This added time to every tack, gybe, and sail change, but De Angelis was generally happy with the outcome.

"We will see what happens with the smaller boats [in corrected time results], I think they are bringing more wind, but our team sailed well and it was a great race."

Next in line to the finish is Preriklis Livas's and Nikos Lazos's Farr 52 Optimum 3 from Greece, whose ETA at Cape Sounio is about 7 hours behind Atalanta II. About 110 miles astern of Optimum 3 is the start of a cluster wave of boats about to round the rocks at Agathonissi for the long straight starboard tack reach west towards the gate at Mykonos and the finish on the Attican coast. This is led by Andrea Caracci's Pogo 50 Eros from France with Vitaly Chukanov's Russian team on his Oyster 46 Essex Girl not far behind, and then another cluster of five boats led by Pavlin Nadvorni's Corel 45 Espresso Martini from Bulgaria about 15 miles behind them.

The strong 20-25 knot Meltemi will decrease to 15 knots or so overnight, and shift slightly to the north from the northwest, before increasing again tomorrow in the daylight hours.

In corrected time standings, Atalanta II holds on to her lead in IRC scoring, while Optimum 3 currently has the lead in ORC scoring. Partial results can be found at aegean600.com/results and are regularly updated.

Veteran race analyst Dobbs Davis from Seahorse Magazine has provided a Day Three race analysis video available at here. Progress of the entries, predicted wind strength and direction, and standings in ORC and IRC scoring can be tracked using the YB tracker website at yb.tl/aegean6002021, or on their companion YB app.

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