From 18 – 25 May the Laser Youth Europeans 4.7 was held in Hyères on the Mediterranean coast of France. In this event, there were 400 young sailors registered from 50 countries. Since the event was created in November 2013, it had never had such a large number of entries. Of these 400 young sailors, 270 were boys. In the race, sailors partake in a one-person dinghy. The age range for sailors is divided between 13 to 17 years old, and then the ages 18 and 19 is categorized under laser radial.
As the Race Progressed
For the first two days, Alcalay wasn’t mentioned in the group of forerunners. It was only on the third day that Yogev Alcalay, the 15-year-old sailor from Israel, came in under the top three for the under-16 age group. He had 35 units and were 26th overall. On the fourth day, the sailors had great weather, and the winds were between light and medium. Alcalay was first for the under-16 group and at an overall fourth position in the race. The fifth day was providing perfect conditions to complete the final series, and the winds remained around 15 knots for the entire day. Alcalay was now at overall first position as well as leading the under-16 boys. He had 57 points, with Ricard Castellvi from Spain second with 60 points.
This 15-year-old sailor is from Sdot Yam Sailing Club based in Israel. Alcalay started sailing in 2012 after he attended a summer camp and came back home convinced that he wants to sail. Since then he has been working hard at his sailing career. Daily he will go directly from school to train in the water and twice a week he works out at the gym at Sdot Yam Sailing Club. This young man is currently in Grade nine in Caesarea. His coach at Sdot Yam, Dean Bikel, is exceptionally proud of his student’s accomplishments. Alcalay was one of two boys and two girls who were chosen to represent their country at Laser 4.7.
Yogev Alcalay received four gold medals as well as a trophy from the International Laser Club Association. He didn’t only come in first for the under-16 boy’s category, but also made history by winning the under-18 category. He did that in both the European as well as the Open divisions. This made him the overall winning laser sailor from a group of 270 male sailors. This win came unexpected for the Sailing Association of Israel. Alcalay is now due to take part at the 2019 ILCA Laser 4.7 Youth World Championships in Canada which is held in August, but since the win was unexpected, the Sailing Association didn’t budget to send someone to Canada. Currently, they are looking to find sponsors to be able to send Alcalay not only to Canada but also other international competitions.