Sailing in Israel

Sailing in Israel

As a country on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Red sea, the Sea of Galilee and various streams, Israel offers many sailing opportunities. If you are not a sailing professional, you can enjoy extreme sailing, romantic sailing, rowing in the Yarkon River or kayaking on the Jordan River – there are many options to choose from. Alongside amateur sailing, there is also professional sailing in Israel that has gained international success: winning several European championships medals at the Olympics and the sport world’s recognition of the success of Israeli professional sailing. The Mediterranean Sea is very convenient for navigation and the weather allows for sailing on most days of the year. On Saturdays one may see dozens of small white sailboats sailing on a blue sea – a good indication of how much sailing is loved in Israel. Although most contests are held on the Mediterranean Sea, competitions are also held on both the Sea of Galilee and at the Red Sea in Eilat.

In Israel, there are about 18 competitive sailing clubs that are members of the Israel Sailing Association, covering Israel’s shores from Nahariya in the north to Eilat in the south. Along side these clubs there are also, small boat operators, offering a range of different sailing for both the locals and tourists alike.. The purpose of the Israel Sailing Association, founded in 1996, is to develop and advance competitive sailing in Israel through the organization, and management of contests towards building professional teams. The association is a member of the International Sailing Federation, the ISAF, and the European Sailing Federation, EUROSAF, and as such is subject to the decisions and laws of the international organizations. To support the sailing enthusiasts and the ISF there is Cachol, a unique magazine and the only one of its type in Israel, which deals with all facets of sailing. The magazine offers its readers professional articles, information on competitions, changes in rules, news from around the sailing world.

 

Over the years, Israel has won many medals, whether in world championships, European championships, cups and Olympic games. Two of the most famous Israeli surfers are Amit Inbar and Tal Friedman. Amit Inbar is a windsurfer who has twice been crowned as European champion, four times first place in the world and has had many other wins. Today he owns a surfing club at Michmoret Beach, one of Israel’s prettiest beaches. Tal Friedman is Israel’s only winner in history of a gold medal that he won at the Athens Olympics and the only winner of two Olympic medals, when in 1996 he won a bronze medal at the Atlanta Olympics. He has also won the world championship and European championship.

 

Besides open sea sailing, there is also rowing in Israel. Israel does not have many rivers or large streams, but if London has the Thames, Israelis have the Yarkon River. The Daniel Rowing Center built on the Banks of the Yarkon is a members’ club that offers academic rowing, sea kayaking, surf-ski kayaking and Olympic kayaking. It promotes academic rowing in Israel and besides professional boats outfitted to Olympic standards, it offers simulators to allow for individual training. The center’s proximity to the sea allows rowers to go out to sea easily and the building itself is rather unique– an architectural structure of an upside down boat, a nod to historical Indians who were experts as rowers and to their dependence on boats.