Shahar Zubari 

Israeli star Shahar ZUBARI and Spain's Blanca MANCHON top the leaderboard as light winds prevailed during the opening three day's of racing at the RS:X European Championships in Tel Aviv, Israel.

With six races in the bag, all in light conditions, everyone is very pleased to be able to take a break during the lay day on Wednesday and gather themselves for the last three days of intense competition.

Shahar ZUBARI (ISR) is determined to take gold on his home waters. He is already a celebrity after winning the bronze medal in Beijing. Cameras are attracted to him like bees to honey so winning here will only add to his appeal. Just remember that Israel have only ever won six Olympic medals; three of those have been in windsurfing.

The holder of two, Gal FRIDMAN (ISR), bronze at Atlanta 1996 and gold in Athens 2004, paid a visit to championship earlier in the week and may well be returning to the Olympic windsurfing circuit for another shot at Olympic glory. Currently thought he is playing his cards close to his chest, although more is expected to be revealed in Weymouth at the RS:X World Championships in September.

Meanwhile Julien BONTEMPS (FRA), silver medallist at Beijing, is seven points adrift in second with João RODRIGUES (POR), the defending European Champion and current leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, in third a further nine points back.

The battle for the podium will continue on Thursday. The Forecast is for more of the same. Light to moderate sea breeze. ZUBARI excels in these conditions. He is a cool customer and rarely gets excited. All those around him may be feeling the pressure but at the moment he looks to be taking everything in his stride.


Germany prepares for the 2009 IFCA Slalom Youth & Master European Championship

From August 11th to 16th 2009 the eyes of the European windsurf scene will look towards the north of Germany where the IFCA Slalom Youth & Master European Championship 2009 will take place at Schoenberger Strand / Kiel. More than 120 competitors from all over Europe are expected to take part in the categories Youth (U-20) and Master. The event will be one of the biggest windsurf events of the year in Germany. 

The IFCA Slalom Youth & Master European Championship 2009 is sanctioned by the International Funboard Class Association (IFCA) and the international sailing federation ISAF. The agency Choppy Water is responsible for the organization of the event. Choppy Water has got a great experience in organizing such events as it hosts the national windsurfing series "German Windsurf Cup" and the well known "Surf Cup Sylt". Choppy Water also exclusively markets the European Championship 2009. The event is organized in close cooperation with the German Windsurfing Federation (DWSV) and with the support of the municipality of Schoenberg.

It is the first international championship of the IFCA in Germany for the past years. In a long selection process the venue Schoenberger Strand/Kiel stood up to several national and international applicants. Besides other advantages the great windsurf spot and the excellent infrastructure of the venue were the deciding factors for the choice of Schoenberger Strand/Kiel.


2009 Palekastro Freestyle champions 

Saturday night "Lee Frankcom & tris Palekastrianos" were giving a concert on the stage at the beach, then another riders presentation was up and after the beach party was on fire. Free drinks for the riders made it a long night for some of them.

There was only the second double elimination to be finished on Sunday, skippers meeting was scheduled for 11.00h, so everybody could rest a bit after the party. When the riders came to the beach, the wind was already howling stronger than the day before.

Sailors where on 4.0-4.5 sails and the wind was a bit gusty on the inside, so the choice of the sail size was crucial, to not be overpowered on the gusts of over 35kts but still keep on planning in between. 12.00h the action was on for the start of the double elimination and the crowd was pleased by powerful high wind moves and some spectacular crashes too.

Showing a great performance today was youngster Yarden Meir (Fanatic/Simmer) from Israel working his way up the ladder by winning 5 heats in a row. Yarden seemed to be on fire and was putting a big repertoire of moves together in his runs. With moves like Shaka, Burner, Culo, Kono and double moves he was eliminating Tony Mottus (Starboard/Neilpryde), Sassa Teixeira (RRD/RRD), Davy Scheffers, Phil Soltysiak (Starboard) and Maarten van Ochten (JP/Neilpryde) before he got stopped by Niklas Strahlen (RRD/Simmer) and finally settled in 5th position of the second double elimination.

Niklas then went on to meet Nicolas Akgazcyan (Starboard). The wind got even stronger towards the end of elimination and both riders were really powered up.