The fourth and final leg of the Hellenic Match Racing Tour 2015 took place in Piraeus, Greece, fielding a stunning line-up of leading Greek sailing stars. Perfect weather conditions over the two days of racing, 3-4 October, saw a fiercely fought series of match races, set against the dramatic scenery of the old harbour of Mikrolimano.
The Piraeus event marked the final leg 4 of the Hellenic Match Racing Tour, the culmination of earlier stages hosted at three stunning Greek locations. With points from each stage counting towards the overall series ranking, this final event kept the door open for all teams to claim the crown, with every team having the chance to qualify to the grand final. In the qualification round of this last event, the overall leader came face face with the last team on the leaderboard.The second placed team faced the seventh team and so on, meaning any of the teams could advance to the semi-finals.
Panagotis Mantis, the 2013 and 2014 bronze medallist in the 470 World Championships, and his crew on Nespresso VMG Team looked stylish and remained composed to “sweep” their opponents aside to seal their ticket to the Grand Final.It was game on to to defend their 2014 HMRT title.
Competition was tight to claim the last place in the Grand Final. Hellenic Police Team, withAlexandros Tagaropoulos helming, forced out Solgar Ursa Minor Team skippered by Iasonas Spanomanolis, putting a stop to their dreams to raise the title trophy.
Racing continued for the grand final and petit-final right in front of the Yacht Club of Greece. The Club offered a perfect grandstand for spectators and fans to watch the racing unfold from a VIP lounge with live commentary.
In the Grand Final, Alexandros Tagaropoulos and Hellenic Police couldn’t conjure up their earlier magic, and after 4 exciting matches were defeated by Panagiotis Mantis and his Nespresso VMG Team. A stunning outcome for Nespresso VMG Team who won back to back victories to defend their Tour Trophy.
In the petit final, Solgar Ursa Minor made a last minute move for glory, hunting out any slight advantage to conquer Dark ‘n Stormy Team. Superb teamwork gave Spanomanolis’ team third place, with Andreadis’ Dark ‘n Stormy knocked off the podium.
The Hellenic Match Racing Tour 2015 wrapped up with an impressive and glamorous closing ceremony. Prizes and awards were presented to massive applause from the watching crowd, in a proud moment for the victorious teams . Tour and event partners and supporters, alongside team sponsors showcased their state of the art hospitality to the invited guests.
The “Hellenic Match Racing Tour” is a sailing league organized by “Icarus Sailing Media” under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Tourism and supported by the Greek National Tourist Organization. The series of events promote the sport of sailing in Greece and provides an increased media profile for leading Greek sailors. By highlighting the beauty of the Greek coastline and abundant islands, Greece is also promoted as a unique and alternative sports tourism destination.