The second day at the EFPT Sardinia unfortunately ended without giving us the opportunity to proceed with the single elimination that has been started yesterday. Eight riders are sitting in first place at the moment, eager to continue with the battle: Antony Ruenes, Steven Van Broeckhoven (JP/Gunsails), Julian Wiemar (Starboard/Severne), Tonky Frans (RRD/RRD), Riccardo Marca (North/Fanatic), Loick Spicher (RRD/RRD), Giovanni Passani and Mattia Fabrizi (Patrik) are still in the race for first place. Apart from those eight contenders, that are experienced competition sailors, we are also more than happy to welcome two fresh faces on tour – both of them from Israel. 21 years old Amit Markman (JP/Neilpryde) and 24 years old Dudu Levi (Fanatic/Gunsails), who sailed some solid heats yesterday, are having their debut on tour. Whilst waiting for wind, the opportunity to get to know the two sailors better was ideal. We talked with them about freestyle windsurfing in Israel, their motivation, their idols, their favorite places and their goals for the future.
EFPT: Since when do you windsurf?
Amit: I windsurf since I was 11 years old. We have windsurf club in Eilat that trains you in groups and I did the Oympic windsurfing / RSX for several years.
Dudu: I started when I was 16 years old. I live in the North of Israel and there is a small lake where I saw some friends. They motivated me to pick it up and I was trying again and again.
EFPT: Since when do you freestyle?
Amit: I started freestyle with 13 years. I did freestyle and olympic sailing, with 16 stopped the olympic discipline and focused purely on freestyle.
Dudu: I was living at this small lake and everybody was doing freestyle there, so that is all that I knew from the start. I went straight into it – once I could plane I went straight into doing vulcans.
EFPT: How is the windsurfing scene in Israel?
Dudu: The windsurfing scene is big but the freestyle scene is small, especially in the North.
In Israelthe problem is the army. It is mandatory for three years and a lot of people stop afterwards.
Amit: In Eilat is the main freestyle scene of Israel. We are more than 18 freestylers.
EFPT: What is your favorite training place?
Amit: I like training in Eilat, but lake Kinneret is really sick!! Its windy every day all day. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to sail at other spots much yet.
Dudu: I would say my homespot is the best, but I love training in Brasil where it’s windy every day you don’t need to think of much else than windsurfing.
EFPT: Why did you start freestyling?
Dudu: I didn’t know anything else! And I wanted to do what the guys on the lake did.
Amit: I missed the adrenalin in the olympic discipline and I found it in the freestyle. They just race with buoys and this became too boring for me. When I was training I always watched the freestylers go crazy and wanted to try it too!
EFPT: Do you participate in any other watersports?
Amit: I am really into freediving and I can kitesurf but I don’t do it so much.
Dudu: I only windsurf and sometimes I go for a surf. I have the chance to do that in the winter. After the storms there are bigger swells in the Mediterrenean. We have a lot of places to surf actually!
EFPT: What are your best tricks?
Amit: I would say the burner 900 and the future!
Dudu: Huge culos I think! This is my favorite.
Amit: Yes the Dudu is good! This guy is just too humble!
EFPT: Who are your idols?
Amit: We always watched videos of Yarden Meir and Adam Gavriel and it’s so weird because now we are friends and travel together!
Dudu: We also have some guys in Israel who are really good in waves, but they are not famous…
EFPT: What motivates you?
Dudu: Windsurfing is like an obsession for us. We have to go to the water. It makes you feel incomplete when you don’t go. And to get the possibility to see new places is so great and it gives me a lot of motivation! The travelling and the exploring.
Amit: And the excitement of landing a new trick! The feeling of landing a new trick is SO amazing!
EFPT: What is your favorite place to sail?
Amit: I haven’t been to so many places so far, but I would say Risco del Paso in Fuerteventura.
Dudu: Brasil! The main point in Jeri is the best for me!
EFPT: What are you doing apart from windsurfing?
Amit: I just got released from the army two months ago and before it was only school for me. I wasn’t windsurfing properly for three years now. It is so hard to see your friends travelling and you are stuck. But now that I am finally ‚free‘ I am so excited about every little thing. I was even excited to go on a plane to get here!
Dudu: When I am home I am working as an electric car mechanic, we have a company in the family so I know the work and when I am home I help and earn as much as I can to then go and travel more.
EFPT: What are your goals in windsurfing?
Amit: I want to surf in as many places as possible and meet different people. I also want to progress in competeting. This year I do all the remaining EFPT events!
Dudu: For now my goal is to keep windsurfing as the main part in my life. This keeps me going!
EFPT: What are your goals in life?
Amit: I dont know. I dont think so much about it. The dream is to make some money and keep on exploring places.
But we want to make the scene and the freestyle in Israel bigger. Create a freestyle tour. There is not much support in Israel when it comes to this sport. So that’s for sure something we want to improve in the future.
The second day here at the Windsurf Club Porto Liscia ended with a social evening and nice Italian pasta right at the center. For now we keep our fingers crossed for some action tomorrow.