The team captain of Israel’s first Commodore Cup team has hailed his team’s performance as a “fantastic achievement”.
Taking part in the prestigious event for amateur yachtsmen in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, Omer Brand said: “We’ve started a new team from a country that have no history nor experience in that field and we managed to put a team in a serious regatta. We also were a force to be reckoned with in that regatta. We were very competitive and even managed to leave behind all of the British teams.
“I’m very pleased with the results. In the end we finished fifth overall, while in the inshore races (all the races less the offshore ones) we came in third overall, which is a fantastic achievement.”
The team, comprising of mainly Israeli sailors, spent a number of months training and racing both in Israel and the UK, arriving in Cowes for a weeks’ training before starting the week long-race of the Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup.
“Brand said: “I’m very happy with the preparation we have done both on and off the water. We worked really hard to get the sailors up to speed on their sailing skills and put a lot of effort in preparing them for the British weather, cloture etc.
“One of the most important things was to bring together the Brits and Israelis and make sure they work as one organic team. I travelled to the UK a number of times to meet with the Brits, explaining to them our targets and goals and I made sure they were on board with the program.
“In June we sent all the Israelis to the UK for a training camp and a training regatta where they all came together. We put a lot of effort in making sure they all become friends and become a real team.”
Delighted with how the month’s pf preparation paid off, he said: “I was very happy to see it is all working both in the inshore and offshore races. This is a truly demanding week with long hours on the water, dealing with stressful situations and living with your team mates for a long period of time. It can cause a lot of problems even to the most professional teams. I am happy to say we had almost none of that.
“On the water, I think that the guys, both Israelis and Brits did a fantastic job. They all worked really hard and performed even in very difficult situations. I am very proud of every each one of them. they all pulled their weight and did their best.”
Now looking ahead to the future, he added: “We’re now thinking about how to continue from here and go forward. I would love to continue with getting my team to more professional sailing regattas. We’re also going to continue developing sailing in Israel with a youth program, creating events and coaching adults.
“With the right support behind us, the future can be very bright and sky’s the limit.”