When we think about ocean races in Japan this the Kobe Yokohama Yacht race takes it’s place as one of the top races on the calendar. It not an annual race however it seems that we may consider it will be held every second year. This is not one hundred percent certainty but it does seem this is the plan.
The 2013 start date of April 28th seems very similar to the 2014, April 29th start date for the Okinawa – Tokai 720 nm yacht race and there is a good reason for this. Many of the crew competing in the race have jobs which require them to go to work. Long distance point to point races take time to sail and of course one must first get one’s boat to the start line before the race even begins. The time commitment is quite heavy on every day working folk like myself and thus race organisers build these races around the national holiday periods in Japan. Golden week is a just such a holiday and allows crew a good deal of time off work to race.
I was happy to sail the 2013 Kobe – Yokohama yacht race aboard “Roschana”. Roschana is an Adams 11.9 which has been modified for Double Handed distance yacht racing. I was joined by Yokoo-san who may most commonly be found racing double handed aboard TAM in Nishinomiya.
We came home 11th in a fleet of 11 racing yachts. However as we were the only Double Handed entry in the race and the race committee looked kindly upon us we were granted the First position in the double handed class. When these words are read many may think it doesn’t mean much to come first when there is only one yacht competing. Of course these words are true however to Yokoo and I standing in the crowd at the race presentations, it meant so much to firstly be allowed to race double handed and then to be granted recognition of our effort by the race committee. It was a very proud and unexpected moment.
Thank you to all those who made this race possible.
Mark Smith – Roschana.