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26 October 2012, 09:37 am
Japanese Teams Express Rio 2016 Desire At Enoshima Sailing Week
Japanese London 2012 49er crew Yukio Makino Kenji Takahashi
Japanese London 2012 49er crew Yukio Makino Kenji Takahashi

JSAF Enoshima Olympic Week
Enoshima, Japan

The Enoshima Olympic week regatta was held from 18 - 21 October and featured some of the best Japanese sailors across eight classes at the venue that hosted the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Sailing Competition.
With a good number of sailors across the 470, 49er, Laser, Laser Radial, 420, 29er, Laser 4.7 and Snipe class racing got underway once a Typhoon, 150km south east of Enoshima, passed through. The 470 fleet were the first off on the Saturday in a breezy north easterly.

The weather picked up on Saturday and Sunday however a shifty breeze made it tricky as all the fleets got underway.

Japanese Olympic 49er sailors Yukio Makino and Kenji Takahishi took the title, which also acted as the 49er Nationals, after eight races. Their coach Kazuto Seki and Sydney 2000 Olympian Tomo Sasaki pushed them throughout the week with a couple of race wins to their name but the youthful pair, who expressed their desire to campaign for Rio 2016, did enough to take a comfortable win. Meanwhile in the 29er fleet Keiju Okada and Hitomi Ikeuchi took the gold medal.

Nineteen boats entered the 470 fleet, including two female teams and Yuya Ishikawa and Jun Abe took the title comfortably. Kazuto Doi and Tomoyuki Takase finished second and will be aiming for Rio 2016 after Kazuto's younger sister Manami sailed the Radial at London 2012.

JSAF's transition into the 420 class as a stepping stone into the 470 continues and the fleet saw six entrants with more expected in the future to develop top 420 sailors from now on. Akito and Makoto Suzuki took the overall title.

The 13-boat fleet Snipe fleet featured plenty of university students who used the regatta as training for an Intercollege regatta in early November. The honours went the way of Koji Sekiguchi and Keishi Suzuki.

Kureha Endo picked up the Laser 4.7 title in a tough 18-boat fleet whilst the Laser gold medal was won by Kenji Nanri who failed to qualify for London 2012 but will aim for a ticket to Rio.

On the Saturday evening Ai Kondo and Wakako Tabata were presented with their trophies for finishing third in the ISAF Sailing World Cup series and to give a talk on their exploits at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition where they finished 14th.
Aiko Sato (As Amended by ISAF)
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