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23 May 2012, 08:50 am
Israelis Dominate The First Day Of RS:X At The Delta Lloyd Regatta
Israel's Nimrod Mashiah
Israel's Nimrod Mashiah

Delta Lloyd Regatta
Medemblik, The Netherlands

Shahar Zubari and Nimrod Mashiah dominated in the RS:X Class on Tuesday in Medemblik; the first day of the 28th Delta Lloyd Regatta, the fifth ISAF Sailing World Cup 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. In 2009, Mashiah finished second in the RS:X World Championships. These were held in the waters 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 form 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, she held off the Italian Flavia Tartaglini, who was top of the leaderboard after the first race. The Southern European won the last race and is 2 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 tenth 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
Arjen Rahusen

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