The 2017 Corfu Challenge for Maxis 72 kicked off today (3 July) with an official practice day. Prior to leaving the dock, Father Alex Karloutsos came down to bless newly named Evniki, as well as the entire fleet. Teams then zipped out to the racecourse in a sunny, 20 knot north westerly wind. Breeze remained consistent throughout the day, only decreasing briefly near the windward mark in front of Mount Pantokrator. “Conditions today were relatively straight forward to drive [the boat] to. It was mostly about angle of heel because the telltales and instruments delay in breeze.” Cannonball owner/driver Dario Ferrari, ITA.
Principal Race Officer Ariane Mainemare ran two practice starts before the windy two mile, two lap practice race. MOMO, Cannonball, and Proteus were all on the line, each showing moments of speed throughout the day. Racing was close, and it was MOMO who won the race with a lead change after the second windward mark. Both Evniki and Bella Mente also spent time on the water to ensure everything was setup for race day.
Rob Weiland, Maxi 72 class manager, is happy the fleet has come to enjoy Corfu, “Greek culture is known for hospitality, and so far teams have been nothing but impressed. Last night’s Rolex Owners Dinner was about quality and style, it is always fantastic for me to see owners on the dance floor enjoying themselves!” Bella Mente’s tactician Terry Hutchinson agreed, “The local hospitality has been very good to us and the Marina Gouvia has opened their arms.”
An enjoyable welcome dinner was hosted by ROLEX, the Official Timepiece sponsor. Owners and all Corfu Challenge's teams and friends were warmly received. It was a chance to enjoy the hospitality before the racing gets underway and the Challenge begins.
"We are very happy that ROLEX HELLAS became a sponsor of this event with these outstanding Maxi 72 boats. It has been an honor and I am sure that it is going to be a wonderful week of regatta", Yann Du Pasquier, ROLEX Area Sales Manager – Middle East & Europe commented.
Hutchinson continued, “Racing for the week is going to show a little bit of breeze early on, and then easing as the week goes, probably into a more typical Corfu, Greece condition. I suspect it will be tricky with five strong teams!”. All five boats are in line on the dock and ready for the 1300 start tomorrow, where conditions will determine whether races will be around the buoy laps or a costal race.
Race Report: Corfu Challenge Press Office: Katerina Lykiardopulo