Leros, 20.6.2012

The second edition of the race was a great success.  Leros had a leading role as point of departure and arrival, and also by hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, a sailing race in the bay of Lakki and an “Italian Evening” on the occasion of the italian national holiday.

There were more participations than last year with 28 boats under 6 different flags,  more international, too,  with 107 crew members from no less than 13 different countries.

Ten of the participating boats came from Turkey and four from other islands of Dodecanese.  Seventy of the crew members came from their places of residence especially for the race, most of them from Turkey, France and England and others from more distant countries, such as Ukraine, even Australia.

Two days before the departure of the boats and two days after their arrival, on the festively decked quay of the Lakki’s harbor lied a reception desk with the race secretariat and technical as well as touristic information, joined by numerous stands of sponsors.

The opening ceremony on Saturday, May 26 2012, at the theatre of Lakki, had as honorary guest the Mayor of Gulluk, Turkey, who was visiting Leros to celebrate the 25 years of twinning between the elementary schools of Leros and Gulluk.

The welcome speeches by Mayor M. Kolias, the president of AIAL L. Marchi and the president of the organizing committee A. Charalambidis were followed by a concert of classical music in a theatre where even the seats of the gallery were full.

The program proposed by the Quartet of artists, who came from Italy especially for the occasion, consisted of an ideal musical journey from Europe to America with return and was much appreciated by the audience.

Inspired by the itinerary of the race, that passed from one continent (the greek islands of the Aegean Sea) to the other (Asia Minor), the concert transposed the idea of the music exported by the immigrants in the first half of the 19th century to return to old Europe in the second half by means of the works of American composers.

The first stop of the race was at Patmos, including a tour of the Monastery, the Chora, and the Cave of the Apocalypse. The award giving ceremony was followed by a cocktail party offered by Patmos Aktis, a modern complex in Griko bay.

The next stop was in Turkey, hosted at the marina of Didim, with a much appreciated archeological tour in Miletus and the temple of Apollo, followed by a magnificent welcome party where very young dancers performed in traditional costumes.

The boats then returned to Greece stopping at Kalymnos, hosted by the local Yacht Club. The Governor of Didim was guest of honor at the award giving ceremony, which was followed by a performance of folk dances by the local group of Lykeion Ellinidon in traditional costumes.

Return to Leros on Saturday, June 2, with the last offshore leg, an italian party, and a ceremony honoring the sponsors with consign of individual commemorative plaques.

The ceremony was followed by the recital of tenor M. Powell, skipper of one of the participating boats, who performed an exclusively Italian repertory, accompanied on the piano by his friend Toby. The rich buffet consisted of typical Italian products thanks to the substantial contribution of “Buriana II”: from parmiggiano reggiano to mortadella of Bologna, from prosciutto crudo to fine cold cuts, as well as a lot of Italian local dishes prepared by the ladies of AIAL.  Plenty of local wine was offered by Ktima Isihou.

The fifth and last stage of the race was realized on Sunday, June 3, with a spectacular inshore race in the bay of Lakki during which the participating boats engaged in a passionate carousel to win the ‘Leros Cup’, offered by the Municipality of Leros.

In the evening, the closing ceremony took place in the garden of the Leros Yacht Club. While photos from the race were being projected, guests were served at a buffet offered by the Cultural Association “Artemis”.

The award giving followed next, starting with the cups for the first three winners of each class of the morning race. The final trophy consisted of two series of cups to be assigned to the first three boats overall of each class.

The first in ORCclub class was “Ajuga” (English flag, Ukrainian crew). They were first in four of the five races winning five out of ten cups. First in open class was “Phebe” (French flag, Italian crew), which alternated the first place in the individual races with “Baloss” (Italian flag and crew). All those boats came from Turkey.

Then, the trophy offered by CVF was assigned to “Asa.branca” (swiss flag, mixed crew), last in overall, and a plaque commemorative of their participation was given to all boats.

At the end of the award ceremony, during a brief personal speech of thanks and pointing out the spirit of the race, that aims to combine sports and culture as a sign of friendship between peoples, the secretary of the organizing committee Enzo Bonanno, announced the assignment of a commemorative cup, offered by AIAL to the boat “Arethusa” (English flag and crew), last in real time and out of score, to reward their perseverance in both editions of the race.

The enchanting evening under the pine trees of Koulouki was concluded with traditional music and dances by members of the Cultural Association “Artemis” who involved the crews to share the dance floor with them.




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