Israeli windsurfers took home gold, silver and bronze medals at the recent RS:X Youth World Championship in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Israeli champions – all of whom are under 19 years old – include Eyal Yohay Zror, Daniel Basik Tashtash and Reuven (Roy) Hillel, who won the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the men’s competition; and Naama Greenberg, who won the bronze medal in the women’s division.
The competition, which took place over five days, included 104 competitors from 19 countries. The participants initially had to contend with unusually weak wind conditions.
“Racing in such wind conditions is a real art,” writes Alexy Zhirov in Sail World, “not as graceful as a ballerina, but with an equal amount of strength and balance required.”
By the final day, however, the wind was back to normal.
The Israelis beat out contenders from Russia, Greece and France.
Zror and Tashtash describe themselves as “best friends” yet they wound up competing against each other for the top spot.
“We are used to competing with each other, so it’s not so difficult,” Tashtash said. “We communicate before the races and enjoy the victories of our teammates. Each of us had a plan to do his best. During the race, I did not think about my friendship with Eyal at all.”
Tashtash added that Israelis “are the best windsurfers in the world. We train with each other, so it’s not so difficult for us in the races.”
In addition to the competition, a charity competition was held over the weekend, with proceeds going to the AdVita cancer fund.