Over 70 boats at this year's Aegean regatta, has made this event one of the biggest of its kind in the Med

When the Minister of the Aegean Mr Sifounakis announced his ministry would take under its hospices a new sailing and cultural event – the Aegean Regatta – no one could have predicted the success that would follow.

With 76 boats on the starting line at Lakki, Leros, a mixture of IMS and ORC cruiser racing boats, separated by two starting flags, this number made the Aegean Regatta, by far one of the most successful regattas in the eastern Mediterranean.

This year Leros, Kos, Symi and Rhodes were start and finish of three different legs, concluded by one day with windward/leeward races. There was ample opportunity to visit the islands between the racing days and as part of this programme, crews were taken to historical,places of interest, sight seeing and concerts, courtesy of the Aegean Ministry.

The mythological forces are still prominently alive in Greece and the wind gods played a subtle game of divide and rule, spreading the good fortunes over the fleet simply by having a break during lunchtime.

The last day gave some splendid windward/leeward racing in a 20 knot steady breeze. The IMS 50 Okyalos X excelled in these conditions and scored two firsts. The overall winner of the whole event was an IMX 38, Alpha Bank with skipper Theodore Tsoulfas.

Gradually the event will grow towards a good match between elite and club racing. There was a really nice mix between good racing, stunning scenery and culture and a relaxed atmosphere. It brought sailboat racing to areas where it is otherwise never seen and brought sailors to places where they would normally never go racing.

More photographs and details for next year’s Aegean venue and registration can be found on http://www.aegeanregatta.gr