Spectators from around the world met to watch the first ever Maxi 72 class racing in Corfu, Greece.
The scheduled afternoon start was delayed due to light wind, where two different breeze directions fought until 1600 when a beautiful, flat water 12-18 knots filled in from the west. Boats lined up for a clear start, Bella Mente winning the pin and the young Evniki taking the boat.
Proteus’ tactician, Mark Mendelblatt, chose the left side of the course and positioned the team into an early lead that ultimately gained them the bullet of the day. Stratis Andreadis had the perfect perspective, “The first Maxi 72 race in Greece was won by a Greek sailor, George Sakellaris and team Proteus!” Spectators couldn’t ask for more, all five boats rounded tip to tail at the top mark; close behind Proteus was MOMO, strategist Murray Jones commented, “Fantastic conditions! Quite tricky, a little favored on the left-hand side but then we had right hand shifts as well so it wasn’t straight forward at all”. He continued, “We had a pretty good race all the way around the track, breeze came up quickly, we first set the mast jack and jib for 10 knots and within another 10 minutes it had come up even more so we changed settings again and in the end started with the right gear.”
After racing, teams gathered for the “Taste of Corfu”, a new competition for top Greek hotels to show local hospitality and provide a taste unique to the island. At the end of the week sailors will vote and a hospitality award will be given to the winner. Today, the chef’s choice was a kumquat cheesecake, prepared onsite! Once again sailors were wowed by the Corfu hospitality.
Corfu Challenge 2017 - 1st racing day highlights