Delta Lloyd Regatta - Israelis battle for Olympic ticket + Video

Israelis dominate the first day of RSX at the Delta Lloyd Regatta 2012
The ISAF Sailing World Cup’s fifth of seven regattas, the Delta Lloyd Regatta, is taking place from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th May 2012 in Medemblik.

Shahar Zubari and Nimrod Mashiah dominated in the RS:X Class on Tuesday; the first day of the 28th Delta Lloyd Regatta. The two Israeli windsurfers shared the win in the first three races under ideal sailing conditions. Zubari won the first two races and is currently at the top of the leader board, Mashiah triumphed in the last race and is in third place. The Frenchman Pierre le Coq managed to squeeze in between them.

Zubari and Mashiah are now engaged in a fierce battle to qualify for an Olympic ticket. It will be decided who goes to London in the fifth World Cup contest of the season in Medemblik. After three contests, Mashiah is the leader in the battle for selection. The Israeli is an established name in the surfing world. In 2009, he finished second in the RS:X World Championships. These were held in the water by the English town of Weymouth, where the Dutchman Dorian van Rijsselberghe is hoping to win Olympic gold in the RS:X this very summer.

The former Dutch World Champion is missing from the Delta Lloyd Regatta, following a busy programme. He is training for London. Mashiah is hoping to compete with him in August. 'Dorian is one of the major candidates to win Olympic gold, or for an Olympic medal in any case. He is one of the best surfers, but he can be beaten. It would be brilliant if I can do that in London, but first I have to get there myself.'

Zubari hopes to beat his fellow-countryman to an Olympic ticket in Medemblik. 'Last year, the Israeli league appointed four contests for the Olympic qualification, and Medemblik is the last one. That’s why we’re here. I still have a chance, but I also depend on the results of my rival. So it’s unfortunate that he won the last race. I am happy with my own performance,' says the top scorer.

For the ladies, the Norwegian Jannicke Stalstrom is at the top of the RS:X Class. On Tuesday, the number two on the World Cup leaderboard held off the Italian Flavia Tartaglini, who was top of the leaderboard. The Southern European won the last race and is two points behind on the leaderboard.

The Dutch dominated the Laser Class. Rutger van Schaardenburg won the first two races, and his training partner Roelof Bouwmeester won the third and last. Both Dutchmen are fighting for an Olympic ticket, and the Delta Lloyd Regatta will decide the winner. The other contest contributing to the decision-making is the recent World Championships. Van Schaardenburg is the best on paper, whilst Bouwmeester, who has an injury on his left forearm, has to bridge a large gap in terms of points. Van Schaardenburg is currently at the top of the leaderboard, while Bouwmeester is in fifth place.

'The Olympic battle has not yet been fought,' said Van Schaardenburg, who finished the day in tenth place in the third race. He was disappointed in his performance. 'I could have achieved a score of 100 percent in this. That’s a shame, but as a whole it was a great day. London is approaching fast.'



Delta Lloyd Regatta website