August, 2015

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by Harumi Okochi.
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420 World Championships in Karatsu

  Hi, there!
420 class yacht World Championships were held in Karatsu this July.
Yoyokaku received almost 60 sailors, coaches, families and officials for 2 weeks.
This is a report of how we enjoyed meeting young people from the world.
During this period, we encountered three typhoons.
They frustrated sailors, but anyhow, the final races were done with beautiful strong winds and waves.
Please enjoy.

   Harbor one day before the opening.
   Albert from Italy.
He and his wife came to Yoyokaku on their honey-moon journey three years ago.
This year he is an official of the Worlds.
   Our 420 Breakfast Room
   We turned our Japanese banquet room into buffet.
   Trying the sail on
   Fixing the boat
   Our bike parking lot for the sailors'
60 bikes!
   Team Turkey stayed with us.
   From Italy, several teams stayed.
   Italy too.
  Team France at the parade of opening.
   Great Britain
   Opening ceremony
Princess Takamado-no-miya made a welcome speech.
   Flags and sailors
   Team Italy
Camilla (2nd from the left) was celebrated her 17th birthday at Yoyokaku
   Team Spain at breakfast
   Start of the race
Photo by Kuniomi Maeda
Photo by Kuniomi Maeda
   Ningyo Johruri was performed at Mid-week Party to entertain the sailors.
   Awarding ceremony.
Ladies World champion this year were my guests at Yoyokaku.
Team Spain, Maria Jesus and Marta Garrido.
Beautiful winners! Marta met her 19th birthday at Karatsu.
   On July 27, at 5 o'clock in the early morning, I led them to a near hotel to make them get on the chartered bus to the airport. From other hotels sailors gathered here.
   The bus was swollen with 50 sailors with hundred big bags and 20 long sails.
I saw them off, feeling that my Championship is over now.
But it was not the end of the story.
When I got back to my bed at 5:30, an Italian girl called me from the running bus.
"I forgot my passport in my room. Please help!"
So I searched for it, luckily enough I found it, and jumped on a taxi, I ran to the airport.
This was the true end of my Championship.
I have experienced 4 times World Championships in 20 years. I always joined in the language support team.
This year, too, I did, thinking that this might be my last opportunity. I am old now! I can not wait for the next.
So, with a heartfelt joy and a little bit sorrow, I am sending these photos to you.
Mr. Nino Shmueli, from Israel, the President of 420 Federation, personally gave me an 'Hamsah' (Lucky eye) which brings good luck to your house if you hang it somewhere in the house.
It is like a medal. I felt I am a medalist in the championships.
Yes, I was a champion in the summer of 2015.

Thank you very much for joining me.
I hope you will visit us again next month.

 Mail to Harumi Okochi