Enoshima, planned venue for 2020 Games, hosted 2018-19 World Cup Series.
ENOSHIMA, Japan — The U.S. Sailing team was in Japan, Sept. 11-16, to compete at the 2018-19 World Cup Series at Enoshima, located on the coastal outskirts of Tokyo. Olympic sailors used the international regatta to compete against their world-stage equivalents while also testing one of the expected venues of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
“The World Cup Series events are spaced out well which allows our athletes to complete training blocks in between events and then use World Cups to measure their progress in certain areas of focus,” Malcolm Page, U.S. Sailing’s Chief of Olympic Sailing, said in a released statement. “The ultimate measurement might not always be in the results, but in the overall process they are working on with their coach.”
More than 30 Olympic medalists and eight recent world champions were among the 450 sailors from 45 countries competing in the World Cup Series event.
“Our primary goal at the events in Enoshima, Japan this year is to learn the Olympic environment,” Page said. “While great results are always welcome, they aren’t our main focus right now. We’re working to get comfortable on the Enoshima race course to help picture what it will look like in two years’ time during the Olympic Games.”
Page added the regatta also provided U.S. sailors to become acclimated with Japanese culture.
“It’s important for our athletes to acclimate to Japan and its culture and traditions, as well as the water, current, waves and geography of the Olympic venue,” Page said. “This year’s trip is not the first to Japan for many of our athletes, and won’t be their last before the 2020 Games. They must become 100 percent familiar with the location.”
Enoshima Olympic Week, held Sept. 21-24 in the Tokyo area, followed the World Cup Series; many of the World Cup competitors also competed in the Olympic Week event.
A few members of the U.S. contingency in Enoshima hailed from Southern California:
- Riley Gibbs, Long Beach (Nacra 17/Mixed Double-handed Multihull)
- Chris Barnard, Newport Beach (Laser Men’s Singlehanded Dinghy)
- Charlie Buckingham, Newport Beach (Laser Men’s Singlehanded Dinghy)
- Judge Ryan, San Diego (49er Men’s Double-handed High-Performance Skiff)
- Hans Henken, Coronado (49er Men’s Double-handed High-Performance Skiff)
- Caleb Paine, San Diego (Finn Men’s Singlehanded Heavyweight Dinghy).