• Issue: July 1970
  • Designer: A. Berg
  • Plate no.: 289-291
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The World Yachting Championship competition for Class "420" yachts was held in Tel Aviv in the summer of 1970. The Israel Sports Federation, under the auspices of the International Yachting Association, made all necessary arrangements for the event.

This World Championship rally was the first official one of its kind held in Israel. The event took place a year after the Israelis, Carmel Tsefania and Lydia Lazarov, earned the title of world champions in the "420" class rally at Sandhem, Sweden. Their performance was the best that any Israel sportsmen had achieved to date.

The International Yachting Association recognizes a number of classes, the most popular of which is the "420."

Made of plastic and fiberglass, the small "420" was designed in 1960 by French naval architect Christian Mauri. Its 4.20-meter length accounts for the name. The boat has two sails with a total sail area of 10 square meters, and also an auxiliary sail (called a "spinnaker") with an 8.5-meter area which is used when the vessel is running before the wind.

The crew consists of two people - the helmsman and a crewman. The helmsman's task is to steer his craft according to the principles of sailing, taking into account tactical considerations involving the efficient application of the rules. The crewman's job is to balance the boat and also to handle the forward sail (or "jib") and the spinnaker.

The World Championship rally took place off the Tel Aviv shore. The planned course was an equilateral triangle, with sides 1.2 nautical miles long. The boats were required to do 6 legs, some of them tacking sharply against the wind. The championship included three categories of competitions: 1) a one-man event, without the use of forward sails; 2) a team race, in which each participating country enters three boats, and is credited with the combined score of all three; 3) a two-man event, the most important one in the championship competition.

Yachting as sport was then comparatively new in Israel. Four sports federations - Hapoel, Zvulun, the Sea-Scouts, and Elitzur - did have yachting sections also in the past, training hundreds of seamen and providing the base upon which Israel's commercial and fishing fleets, as well as its navy, were built.

It was only after the establishment of the State of Israel, however, that sailing developed as a sport, and in 1970 there were about 5,000 amateur sailors in the country, mooring at ports scattered along all of Israel's shores - in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Sea of Galilee.

Israel sailors have the advantage of mild weather which permits sailing throughout almost the entire year, and indeed this beneficent situation is doubtless the reason for the great strides made in such a comparatively short time by Israel yachtsmen and yachtswomen.

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World Yachting Championship