The Israeli RS:X surfer Yoav Cohen surprised last year with a gold medal at the Medemblik Regatta. This year he hopes to beat the top guys again. Starting with the World Cup in Miami from January 28 to February 3rd.
“The Medemblik Regatta was one of the best Regatta’s I’ve ever had”, Yoav Cohen looks back on the tropical Medemblik Regatta last year. For Cohen, it was the first time racing in Medemblik. “Last year was my first season in the men fleet and Medemblik was the second championship. I’ve set a goal before the championships, to end in the top 10. After my first day, I could change my goal to a top 3 position. The further we got into the week, to more I wanted to set a podium place. I saw my level was good compared to my competitors, although it wasn’t going to be easy.” The young RS:X surfer managed to keep up in the top fleet, the night before the medal race he was already secured for a medal. It was only undecided which colour it would be.
“Had to stay focussed during medal race”
“Over the week I learned a lot and had huge fun being in the front of such a good fleet. The night before the medal race people already started to congratulate me with my secured podium place. But I could only think about that gold medal. At the start of the medal race, it was all or nothing in my mind. You never know when you’ll be so close to a gold medal again, right? The medal race was very hard, I screwed up my start and was 9th at the first mark. I had to finish in front of the number 1 and 2, with the same points as number 2 and only 4 points behind number 1. The whole race I kept focussing on my goal, in the end, I managed to pass my medal competitors. Finished in a 3rd place in the medal race, which was enough to claim that gold medal. It was crazy, I was super stoked!”
Aarhus conditions didn’t fit Cohen
Not only at the Medemblik Regatta Cohen was performing well, in Palma, at the beginning of the season, he made it to the top 12 out of 131 competitors. And he became 6th in the European Championship. “But the World Championship in Aarhus wasn’t good for me, with a lot of competitors and conditions that didn’t fit me. It didn’t come together over there and I finished in a 28th place. After last season I knew I still had a lot to improve, especially in strong winds.”
Gaining kilos and muscle over the winter
That’s a part he’s been working on this winter. “We trained a lot in strong winds, and in the gym. Gaining some kilos and muscle power! I hope to see my progress in Miami, maybe I can beat some of the top guys already. There will be a strong fleet at this World Cup, I’m aiming for the top 10.” After this first strength test, the focus of Cohen is the European Championship in Palma in April and the Worlds in Garda later in the season.
And then there’s the Medemblik Regatta where he has to prolong his gold medal.