By Manos Roudas from the RC boat club skipper of HORC's web site

Saturday morning, 08:00 hours.
We gathered early to final-check the boats and review the sail plan. It is a bright and warm day, but the weather is a bit unusual for the Saronic Bay, with northern winds of 20-25 knots, gusting to over 30.

We leave the race committee to its duties at about 10 o’clock and meet the crews at the HORC premises. After the breakfast offered to the participants, the final directions are given out, and the crews are allocated to the boats.
HORC has
4 (the 5th left out with a broken backstay!), J24 boats available for the race. Each boat has a Greek skipper on-board, while four out of five crews are foreign. The race takes place in the Faleron Bay, a windward-leeward course, rather short because of the strong winds.

It is 10:30 and the course is all set. Two motorboats are following the race. In the Race Committee boat we are amazed by the grace and speed of J’s as they prepare to start.

The race starts at 11:00.
All boats make a pretty good start, but the boat of Nikos Lykiardopoulos makes a head up. Nikos Lykiardopoulos has won that legendary SYDNEY-HOBART race of 1998. He and his crew cross the finish line first making a difference from the other boats.

The second race starts short after the first one. All boats started at the port tack, except TINOULI. Thanasis Fanariotis, the skipper, knows the waters fairly well and he chose to sail the starboard tack, ending at his favor.
Maria-Christina, skipper of the second runner-up and third overall, won the crews over with her seamanship and racing attitude.

In the third race, the only Greek crew of ATLAS MARINE came close to its victory, but the race won by TINOULI once again.

In the final race, we had a slight change in wind direction, so we had to move the north buoy a bit left. DENIS damaged its main seriously and was forced to retreat because of a strong gust. Good thing that out of the four races, one could choose the best two to count for the results.
The race was fascinating. It was a non-spinnaker race due to strong winds, so the best in upwind would win the race as well. Those heading up on the starboard tack had an advantage of a more steady wind direction and speed. All crews were experienced enough and enjoyed a head to head race.

After the race there was a reception and prize-giving ceremony with Greek specialties and wines, where the participants had the chance to get to know each other well and discuss about the race and Greece in general.

Although that kind of weather is not very common in the area, it turned out to be ideal for this particular race event, and everyone enjoyed it. People were pleased by the excellent set up of the race and the events, and promised they will be back for the next BALTIC EXCHANGE CUP.