City notes: Acre to host int’l scrabble tournament

What is said to be the largest ship ever to dock in Israel anchored last week at Haifa Port.

The ‘Maersk Elba’ docks at Haifa Port (photo credit: WARHAFTIG VENIZIAN)
The ‘Maersk Elba’ docks at Haifa Port
(photo credit: WARHAFTIG VENIZIAN)
For the ninth year running, the ancient port city of Acre will host the Israel Open Scrabble Tournament.
The event, taking place February 24-26 at Rimonim Palm Beach Hotel in the 5,000-year-old city, is expected to draw dozens of contestants from Israel and from countries around the world, including Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, the US and Austria.
Participants will be paired against each other in the initial games of the contest according to their pre-tournament ratings. If players do not have an international rating, their Israeli, ABSP, or other available rating will be used instead.
The competition offers a NIS 12,000 first-place cash prize. Cash prizes will also be offered to the first and second runners-up, and various other awards will be presented to various finalists and for special achievements.
Registration costs NIS 250 and is open until the first day of the tournament. For registration and additional information, contact Maureen Hoch at structuresense@
Haifa harbors largest ship to dock in Israel
What is said to be the largest ship ever to dock in Israel anchored last week at Haifa Port.
With a capacity of more than 13,000 TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) the Maersk Elba arrived at the port’s Carmel Terminal on February 2 as part of a weekly service line that links ports in South Korea, China and Singapore to Israel before continuing to Adriatic ports.
The vessel, sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands, is considered a state-of-the art, high-capacity mega ship, the likes of which Haifa Port has been taking recent measures to harbor. New wide-reaching cranes and 70-ton bollard pull tugboats were installed at the port as part of the process over the past two years.
“We are entering a new era, as Haifa Port is promoted to the premier league of terminals worldwide,” said the port’s CEO, Mendi Zaltzman. “This advancement comes with its own obligations. It is important to remember that these massive ships are being serviced at a dock that was originally built to accommodate ships of up to only 6,000 TEU, yet now we are fully prepared to receive ships of 14,000 TEU.”
Urban Festival TLV: An out-of-city experience
For those seeking tranquility and spirituality in the hustle of Tel Aviv’s metropolitan grid, look no farther than the upcoming Urban Festival TLV.
The February 25 festival seeks to provide “all the advantages of remote and magical festivals, with all the advantages of a city.”
The festival compound will include a massage area, holistic workshops, yoga classes, a chai tea stand and jam sessions, and will conclude with two live concerts and parties. The festival complex will also offer skyline views of the city and relaxation corners.
Minimum age restrictions range from 12 to 20 years old, depending on the event. A day pass to the festival costs NIS 150. Tickets for the closing dance parties cost NIS 70, and massage treatments cost NIS 90.
Tel Aviv marathon races into town
The White City will show its running stuff on February 24.
Some 40,000 runners are expected to take part in the multicourse event, which offers various race events for participants of all levels. The events of the Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon include a full 42-km. marathon, a 21-km. half-marathon, a 10-km. race, a 5-km. run, a children’s mini marathon and a 42-km. handcycle race.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three runners finishing in the general category of each race. The marathon, with paths along the Mediterranean seaside and through metropolitan attractions, is considered the most popular running event in the country.
Ahead of the race-day events, a marathon expo featuring sport and active lifestyle exhibitions will be erected in Rabin Square from February 19 to 22.
Late registration for the marathon is open until February 18 and costs between NIS 60 and NIS 300, depending on the course. Registration is available at:
Darom Adom Run in the blooming Negev
Runners of all ages and proficiency levels are welcome to race through the plush green landscape and budding fields as part of the annual Darom Adom (Red South) festivities celebrating the endemic red anemone flowers blooming across the northern Negev.
The fourth annual Darom Adom race sets off next Friday, February 17, from the Be’er Marva entrance to Shokeda Forest near Kibbutz Alumim and continues throughout the wilderness of the Sderot Negev Regional Council.
Race heats include a 10-km. run, a 5-km. run, a 2-km. family run and a 300-meter children’s race. The 10-km. run begins at 8 a.m., and each subsequent race begins 25 minutes after the other. The race, organized by the Israel Marathon Association, will culminate in an awards ceremony and jubilee picnic.
Course maps and registration for the event are available at: