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Aegean 600 day 2: A lovely and lively night of sailing ahead

by Offshore Racing Congress 5 Jul 2021 12:29 PDT 4-10 July 2021
Aegean 600 © Offshore Racing Congress

With mostly light air conditions on the race course in the first 24 hours of the race, the 37-boat fleet in the AEGEAN 600 has nonetheless made progress on their tour of the beautiful Aegean archipelago. By 20:00 local time, the two monohull and multihull leaders on the race course - Carlo Alessandro and Puri Egri's Farr/Felci 70 Atalanta II from Italy and Ioannis Barkas's ORMA 60 trimaran Akron Aoton from Greece - were just approaching the third island rounding mark of the course in the southern Aegean at Kassos. These two teams have thus sailed 180 miles on the course, a little less than one third the total race distance of 605 miles.

At this time the other end of the fleet are still coming through the island gate at Santorini, where they sail through the famous caldera before heading on the next long leg southeast towards Kassos. There is a middle group of several boats that are now halfway to Kassos, gybing downwind in similar light air conditions they had this time last night.

The good news is that the weather forecast shows the light westerly breeze will shift to the northwest and increase to resemble the more familiar Meltemi, the famous northerly wind that dominates Aegean summer sailing. Wind speeds will increase up to 15 knots for those headed to Kassos, and for the faster boats making the 90-degree left turn there and heading to Rhodes the breeze will increase to 20 knots or more in the channel east of Karpathos. This solid wind will hold and even increase on the new leg towards Lindos, the southeastern point of Rhodes, while the fastest boats may then slow down as they approach the lee of this large island and its northern rounding point at the famous ancient port city of Rhodes.

So, after this slow start most of the fleet will have a lovely night of lively sailing ahead, a welcome change that will help them reach the halfway point in the course near Rhodes.

Veteran race analyst Dobbs Davis from Seahorse Magazine has provided a Day One race analysis video available 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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