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Japanese sailors prepare for Perth 2011

by Aiko Saito on 28 Oct 2011
Kanako Hiruta took the Laser Radial honours - Enoshima Olympic Week 2011 © Kazushige Nakajima
The 2011 Enoshima Olympic Week took place from 20-23 October with the following classes competing: 420, 470, Laser, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, 49er, Snipe and Moth. Indonesia brought entries into the 470 and Laser Radial whilst the Laser welcomed two entries from Korea and one from Australia.

Japanese sailors, Harada Ryunosuke and Yoshida Yugo and Matsunaga Tetsuya and Imamura Kimihiko were outstanding among the fifty-three 470 boats, and it was a good opportunity for them to check their performance before they set off to Perth for the ISAF Worlds. Unfortunately Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata decided not to sail due to Tabata's minor injury.

Ryunosuke and Yugo started off with three bullets, and sailed well to win the event, and Tetsuya and Kimihiko followed. Third place went to Maeda Hiroki and Noro Eisuke who also sail Perth 2011.

Yuka Yoshisako and Noriko Okuma sailed well to finish fourth overall. As there were only three women's teams entered, both Men and Women's classes sailed together. As the Intercollege final championship is going to be held in Enoshima many University teams were sailing, and quite a few women's skipper sailed with male crew.

The 49er had six entries, and Makino Yukio and Takahashi Kenji, who are the only Japanese team that compete internationally, won the regatta and became the 2011 National Champion. On Sunday, they decided not to race as the wind got stronger, but the local sailors got opportunities to sail with Makino and other experienced sailors to learn more skills to sail a 49er.

In the Laser Radial Manami Doi (JPN) won Race 1 and 2 and held top spot on the leader board after day one. However, Kanako Hiruta, Japan's Weymouth and Portland International Regatta entrant, sailed well to beat Doi and take the win. And Ha Jeemin (KOR) won the Laser gold despite strong challenges from Japanese Laser sailors.

The Enoshima Olympic Week also saw strong competition in the other invited fleets and after the March 11 earthquake and Tsuname the sailors showed their support and encouraged people in the Tohoku area to keep sailing.

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