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Will a course record get shattered tonight in the AEGEAN 600?

by AEGEAN 600 8 Jul 13:03 PDT 7-13 July 2024
AEGEAN 600 © Vagelis Fragoulis

Since yesterday's spectacular start at Cape Sounio under the Ancient Temple of Poseidon, the brisk Meltemi winds have persisted through last night and today to give the fleet in this year's AEGEAN 600 a great ride around the 605-mile race course.

In just 30 hours more than half the fleet has rounded the southernmost point in the Cyclades at the island of Kasos, and will be reaching at high-speed towards the next major turn at Rhodes, which is at about the halfway point of the race.

In fact the ride has been so fast that race organizers from the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club (HORC) will likely have to prepare a finish line at Cape Sounio tonight for the two fastest boats in the fleet - two MOD 70 trimarans that have been having a high-speed duel with each around the race course. Jason Carroll's ARGO (US) and Erik Maris's ZOULOU (FRA) have just over 100 miles to go in the final three legs of the 13-leg course, and at current speeds may cross the finish line at about 02:00 local time, just 36 hours from their start yesterday.

If this pace holds for them they will have shattered not only the Multihull record time of 53.5 hours set in 2022 but the outright overall record time of 45 hours set last year.

The fastest monohull - Byron Ehrhardt's Juan K 88 LUCKY (USA) - is also on an impressive sprint around the race course, with Joern Larsen's VO 70 L4 (MLT) not far behind. Their projected finishes tomorrow morning may also be close to being record times as well.

Meanwhile the rest of the fleet are also enjoying outstanding sailing, even managing to keep pace through the lee at Rhodes without too many problems so far. In corrected time standings Didier Gaudaux's MN 35 LANN AEL 3 (FRA) is leading IRC 3 and IRC overall, just ahead of Stefan Jentzsch's Botin 56 IRC 1 entry BLACK PEARL (GER).

In the ORC fleet Linda Goddard's Swan 53 ORC 2 entry BEDOUIN (AUS) leads Sascha Schroder's Neo 430 ORC 1 entry NEOMIND (GER) in overall ORC scoring, and among the Maxis Francesco Valla's Myles 60 CK CIPPA LIPPA X (ITA) currently has the lead. In the Double Handed fleet there are two leaders: Miraslaw Zemke's Dehler 41 HOBART (POL) in ORC scoring and Alexander Trilsbach's Class 40 STELLA NOVA (FRA) in IRC scoring.

These standings will likely shift as the teams traverse the second half of the race course where the high-speed reaching and running will change now to upwind and close-reaching legs, as well as a forecasted diminishing of the full-strength Meltemi starting on Thursday.

Daily race analysis videos from Dobbs Davis of Seahorse Magazine will start this evening on the AEGEAN 600 YouTube channel

Follow the AEGEAN 600 fleet's progress in real time on the YB tracker website: cf.yb.tl/aegean6002024

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