Windsurfing: Israelis make home advantage count

Both Zubari and Davidovich sail to top of leaderboards on day one of Euros in TA.

shahar zubari 248.88 (photo credit: Asaf Kliger )
shahar zubari 248.88
(photo credit: Asaf Kliger )
Shahar Zubari got the European windsurfing Championships in Tel Aviv off to a perfect start on Sunday, cruising to victory in both of the day's races. The 22-year-old, who won Israel's only medal at the Beijing Olympics last summer, finishing third in the RS:X competition, was unstoppable in Tel Aviv's weak winds, claiming both races by significant margins. "I couldn't have dreamed of a better start," Zubari said. "I surfed two great races and that was my goal. The conditions are in my favor and I hope I can continue this way." Zubari has a three point gap at the top of the overall standings, with the silver medalist from Beijing, Julien Bontemps in second position after finishing Sunday's races in second and third place respectively. Byron Kokkalanis is in third place, a further point back, with the defending champion, Joao Rodrigues, in fourth position. Nimrod Mashiah ended the day in a disappointing 20th position, with Omri Hazor (11) and Ron Asulin (15) the best placed Israelis after Zubari. The women's competition is also led by an Israeli after the first day of racing. Ma'ayan Davidovich won the first race of the competition and finished third in the second, giving her a two point lead over Spaniards Blanca Manchon and two-time defending champion Marina Alabau. Bryony Shaw of Great Britain, who won the bronze medal in Beijing, is currently in fourth place, a further point back. "I felt good in the morning and I'm happy I managed to record a very successful first day," Davidovich said. "It's going to be a tight battle with the Spaniards and Shaw and I'll have to do my very best. I grew up in this marina and that is a big advantage for me."