A first ever Israeli team will be taking part in this year’s Brewin Dolphin Commodore Cup – one of the most prestigious international sailing events for amateur yachtsmen.

Their spot in this week-long event in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, which got underway last weekend, was secured by Richard Loftus, who’s a longstanding member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, which co-organises the biannual event.

The majority of their crew will be Israeli sailors and team captain Omer Brand is of Israel’s few professional sailors on large racing yachts. He says: “This is the first time that an Israeli team will be sailing in an event like this, and we want to use it as a platform to promote yacht racing in the country.”

Remaining coy on whether they can do the unthinkable and lift the trophy at the weekend, he said: “I think we’ll be the dark horse. We have got good boats and good people and I think we can aim very high.

“I am not sure we can win it, but I believe we can aim for a podium position, we’re not coming to play!”