HELLENIC POLICE Winning J/24 Pan-Hellenic Championships

This year’s first phase of the Pan-hellenic J/24 Championship hosted by the Yacht Club of Paleo Falero was full of twists and turns for the 13 teams that participated from Athens, Crete and Thessaloniki. After eight exciting races, the HELLENIC POLICE, with skipper Alexander Tagaropoulo took an important step forward for the Pan-hellenic Championship Class by winning this event before heading down to Agios Nikolaos, Crete in October 2013 for the second phase to complete the championship. Behind HELLENIC POLICE in second place was JMANIA with Spingo Niko and Dimitris Petkidi skippering. Third was ANIMA sailed by Alexander Mogantam. The first day of racing began with an unpleasant surprise for the teams as they were leaving the harbor–complete absence of wind. However, a light breeze from the south appeared and spread throughout the Paleo Falior Gulf growing into a beautiful 8-15 kts breeze. Three races were completed, which included spectacular duels between the leading groups. The three favorites to win (HELLENIC POLICE, ANIMA, JMANIA) made very strong starts with the trio winning all three races. The second day of racing was the most exciting, as there were four races in difficult conditions for teams. The prevailing southerly winds were strong to begin with and grew even stronger throughout the day, reaching 20-25 kts with huge, choppy waves coming down the gulf. JMANIA stole the day with some amazing races, including winning two races with HELLENIC POLICE taking the last race win. On the last day, the weather permitted only one race as the sailing conditions diminished rapidly for the sailors. With an early start at 11:00am, the RC was hoping to get in at least two races before the forecasted 20-25 kts winds increased in intensity to 30-35 kts near-gale conditions. It turns out, the forecast was right, but late! By the time the J/24 teams were finishing the first race, gusts were already hitting 30 kts. At that point, the RC wisely called it a day and told the fleet to head for home. The only race was won by HELLENIC POLICE. The crews now look forward to their next appointment to complete the PanHellenic Championships in October at Agios Nikolaos, Crete. With only five points separating the top four teams, interest in the second phase remains high, and the final victory of the Panhellenic open and unpredictable. For more J/24 Greece Pan-Hellenic Championship sailing information, visit http://www.j24class.gr/.

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