Tokyo Tech News

Sailing team alumni win U30 Class at 2024 NIPPON CUP


Published: June 3, 2024

GRADs, a group of alumni from the Tokyo Tech Sailing Team, have won the under-30 (U30) class at the 2024 Diners Club NIPPON CUP, held on April 20 and 21 in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture. A Tokyo Tech alumni team also won the category at the 2022 cup.

GRADs in boat no. 4 early in race

GRADs in boat no. 4 early in race

A total of five teams in the U30 class took part in five races held over two days, with conditions varying from light breezes to strong winds. The GRADs team took first place in all three races on the first day, and then finished in second and third on the second day, winning the overall championship.

GRADs members

  • Yuki Yakuwa
    1st-year doctoral student, Life Science and Technology
  • Masayuki Kawai
    1st-year doctoral student, Chemical Science and Engineering
  • Nao Takizawa
    2nd-year doctoral student, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
  • Daichi Habara
    Class of 2023, Mechanical Engineering
  • Masahiro Haga
    1st-year master's student, Industrial Engineering and Economics
  • Ryosuke Makieda
    2nd-year master's student, Architecture and Building Engineering

GRADs (from left): Makieda, Haga, Takizawa, Habara, Yakuwa, Kawai

GRADs (from left): Makieda, Haga, Takizawa, Habara, Yakuwa, Kawai

The GRADs team was created by alumni and alumnae of the Tokyo Tech Sailing Team who wanted to continue sailing after retiring from official club activities. While engaging in research activities at the graduate level, the members regularly make time to sail and participate in various competitions throughout the year. The team representative, Yuki Yakuwa, served as skipper in the 2024 NIPPON CUP.

Comments from GRADs rep and skipper Yuki Yakuwa

Some of the teams in this year's contest had won the cup in the past, and the competition was tight. Every second counted. It was a hard-fought battle, but we were able to combine our strengths as a team and win the championship. The friendships I have made through my club activities are irreplaceable, and I am very happy to have been able to compete with this special group, which included a member who has already graduated from Tokyo Tech. It was also a great pleasure to get to know sailors of my generation from other teams through this fierce competition, and to make new connections outside Tokyo Tech. I hope to continue to cherish these connections after graduation myself.

The teamwork skills, broadened perspectives, and problem-solving abilities that I cultivated through my club activities and with the sailing team to achieve a shared goal are now being utilized to solve problems with my research lab mates. It is not an easy task to balance my research and sailing activities, but I intend to continue to do so with even greater effort.

Tokyo Tech Sailing Team

Most members of the Tokyo Tech Sailing Team joined the official student club with no sailing experience, but they have achieved outstanding results at national championships and other competitions by utilizing the knowledge they have gained through daily practice and from senior members and alumni. The Kuramae Ushio Association, an alumni association boasting 400 members, fully supports the activities of the current club members. Their motto is "developing full-fledged sailors, full-fledged members of society."

GRADs passing race midway point in 1st place

GRADs passing race midway point in 1st place

Tokyo Tech Fund

Sailing Team is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund


Public Relations Division