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Tokyo Tech to sail in nationals after 33-year drought

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Published: October 29, 2020

Three pairs from Tokyo Tech's Sailing Team have qualified for the 85th All Japan Intercollegiate Sailing Championships, to be held in Wakaura Bay in Wakayama Prefecture from November 1 to 3. Tokyo Tech will be joining the competition for the first time in 33 years.

The All Japan Intercollegiate Sailing Championships will bring together the best student sailors in Japan in both the Snipe1 and 4702 classes. Students from 24 universities, eight of which are within the Kanto region, will be competing in a total of eight races. The watermen and women from Tokyo Tech joining Japan's most prestigious student sailing competition are as follows. All three pairs will be competing in the Snipe class.

Skipper Ei Okada
4th year, Mechanical Engineering
Crew member Takumi Suzuki
4th year, Mathematical and Computing Science
Skipper Ryuichi Kitajima
4th year, Information and Communications Engineering
Crew member Shiun Aoki
3rd year, Mechanical Engineering
Skipper Shione Hagiuda
4th year, Architecture and Building Engineering
Crew member Tatsuhiko Ido
4th year, Mathematics

Team Tokyo Tech earned their place in the All Japan competition after hard-fought races at the 87th Kanto Intercollegiate Student Sailing Competition qualifiers on October 3 and 4, and the finals on October 11 and 17. Sailing against 14 other finalist university teams at Morito Coast in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo Tech finished eighth overall in the Snipe class, ensuring a place in the national championships. Eleventh place in the 470 class was not enough for a spot in the nationals.

The efforts of fourth-year students have played a huge part in the sailing team's success in 2020. Recent results have not only guaranteed a place in the national championships but have also ensured that Tokyo Tech is a seeded team for the finals of the Spring 2021 Kanto Intercollegiate Student Sailing Competition. A place in the latter is an ideal way to hand off the baton to the next generation of Tokyo Tech sailors.

Okada (left) and Suzuki
Okada (left) and Suzuki

Kitajima (left) and Aoki
Kitajima (left) and Aoki

Hagiuda (right) and Ido
Hagiuda (right) and Ido

Comments from two finalists

Team captain Takumi Suzuki
4th year, Mathematical and Computing Science

I am delighted that we achieved our goal of qualifying for the All Japan Intercollegiate Sailing Championships after four years in the sailing team. This year has been tough, as practice sessions were restricted due to the coronavirus, and at one stage even the holding of the competition was in doubt. I have no words to express the gratitude I feel towards those who continued to support our activities.

In the last four years of sailing, I have developed a mindset that allows me to push through to the end without losing sight of my goals. I will be sure to utilize this ability in my future research activities.

Skipper Shione Hagiuda
4th year, Architecture and Building Engineering

Sailing is a sport in which men and women battle it out on the same playing field. Still, the men outnumber the women, and I can often feel the difference in physical strength between female and male athletes. I have been determined not to be outdone by my opponents, and qualifying for the All Japan Intercollegiate Sailing Championships is the fruit of this hard work. I am very happy to have contributed to this team as a female member.

We feel enormous gratitude to all those who have supported the activities of the Tokyo Tech Sailing Team. We will do our best to demonstrate our strengths on the nationwide stage, and look forward to your support.

About Titech Sailing Team

The Titech Sailing Team is a group of ocean-loving sailors who polish their seafaring skills off the Hayama coast in Kanagawa Prefecture. Members often head to the seaside on Saturday morning and only return to Tokyo on Sunday evening. The group is strongly supported by a 400-member group of alumni whose motto is "developing full-fledged sailors, full-fledged members of society."

1 Snipe

The Snipe is a 4.72-meter sailboat designed by William F. Crosby in 1931. It was originally intended as a boat that can be rigged and launched in a short time, and has maintained its position as one of the most popular two-person racing sailboats since its creation. The Snipe gets its name from the species of long-beaked bird.

2 470

The 470 (four-seventy), so named due to its 4.7-meter length, is a sailboat designed to plane easily. Sailing the boat efficiently requires strong teamwork from its two members. Designed in 1963 by Frenchman André Cornu, the 470 has been an Olympic sailing class since 1976.

Tokyo Tech Fund

Sailing Team is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund

Contact

Titech Sailing Team

Email titech.sailingteam@gmail.com

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