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24 October 2005, 10:36 am
Successful Conclusion In Japan
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Enoshima Olympic Week 2005
Enoshima, Japan

Racing in the final day at the ISAF Grade 2 Enoshima Olympic Week took place yesterday in a southwesterly breeze of ten to 15 knots blowing across the course with the stunning Mount Fuji dominating the background. All the classes complete two races, with the exception of the 49ers who only managed one, although they were amongst several of the fleets whose dramatic final race was to prove crucial to the overall outcomes.
In the 470s Olympic bronze medallist Kazuto SEKI and his new crew Yanagawa SYOUCHI finally had a good day to finish the two races with a bullet and a second place. However their late revival was not enough to haul in the overall leaders Tetsuya MATSUNAGA and Taro UENO, who secured victory with a third and fifth place. Australia's Mathew BELCHER and Nick BEHRENS also showed good speed to win the last race, but earlier in the opening race had dropped the spinnaker sheet under the hull, and took some time to recover during the second run. They recovered from twelfth, working extremely hard to pass six boats to finish sixth, and combined with their bullet in the last race, this result took them to fifth place overall. Early leaders Masaaki TANIGUCHI and Ryohei YOSHIMI took third place overall.

Amongst the women the 470 team of Ai KONDO and Naoko KAMATA stayed ahead of the rest of the fleet and sailed brilliantly through the week to finish sixth overall in the mixed fleet. In the final race in 18 knots with huge swells, they secure the women's crown with a seventh place finish. Yuka YOSHISAKO and Noriko OHKUMA finished as the second women's team with Wakako TABATA and Naomi KURITA third.

In the RS:X, Motokazu KENJO won another two races to win the first regatta in Japan in the new Olympic windsurfing equipment. In the strong conditions, Masako IMAI and Yasuko KOSUGE were willing to finish the final race while the rest of the RS:X men's fleet decided to go back to the harbour. Makoto TOMIZAWA came second overall, with IMAI eventually claiming third place. Yasuko KOSUGE finished as the top women competitor. During the four days in Enoshima, not only have the windsurfers benefited from the experience of racing the RS:X, but their has also been plenty of positive discussions about the RS:X class in Japan.

Although the wind was not too bad the waves provided a tough obstacle for the 49er sailors, who only complete one race. The battle between Allan NORREGAARD and Christian ANDEERSEN and Kenjiro TODOROKI and Kenichi KIDA continued again yesterday. TODOROKI and KIDA were leading heading towards to the finish, but NORREGAARD and ANDEERSEN made a better judgment of the final gybe, and crossed the line just two boat lengths ahead of TODOROKI and KIDA to take overall victory in dramatic fashion. Akira ISHIBASHI and Yoshihide UMEDA, who have switched from the 470s, finished third overall.

Yoichi IIJIMA showed the skills he developed at the ISAF Grade W Laser World Championship in Brazil to win both races on the final day to wrap up overall victory. Yukio MAKINO also showed his ability in heavy wind and waves to finish second overall with Hisaki NAGAI third.

An incredibly tight battle in the Laser Radial ended with Mutsumi HAMAGUCHI climbing from fourth place on Saturday to overall victory after a second and first place in yesterday's strong winds. Ayumi ISHIKAWA tied on points with HAMAGUCHI, but lost the tie break due to HAMAGUCHI's final race win, whilst victory in the penultimate race secured third place for Thailand's Sinsupa WANNASUTH. With entries also featuring in the Laser and men and women's 470 fleets, WANNASUTH's bronze gave the Thai team in Enoshima just rewards for their efforts.

Amongst the other classes, Yasuhiro MATSUO won in the Mistral and Yasuyuki HARADA and Daiki KASAI lead their teams to victory in the Snipe and Flying Junior respectively.

Aiko Saito (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Mount Fuji provided a spectacular backdrop to the action on Enoshima Habour:© JSAF
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