The 2019 International Windsurfing Tour has begun, and this year opens with a new location! Omaezaki Japan is hosting the IWT for the first time, bringing back international wave sailing to the country after a long hiatus. While there has not been a major international wave sailing competition here in many years, it is apparent that windsurfing is alive and well in the country. Japan has its own wave series, and many very talented athletes young and old. They are sure to give the traveling IWT competitors all they can handle.
The competition has yet to get underway with 2 lay days called already. The forecast is promising, showing a big push of wind and waves to come through Thursday and Friday. Winds are forecast to be 20-30 knots with higher gusts possible. Strong winds matched with waves which are predicted to be 3 meters or more should present quite a challenge and an incredible show.
The lack of wind hasn’t dampened spirits at all. Riders have been keeping busy surfing, checking the sites, and soaking in a bit of Japanese culture. A great part of the IWT that the traveling competitors love is having a chance to explore something different than their home location. Local sponsors and event coordinators have kept everyone busy thus far. A visit to a local school in Omaezaki was a big hit with the students learning about windsurfing from some of the top pros. There are many young windsurfers in Japan which is very encouraging to see.
Yesterday’s lay day activities were spent surfing in the morning, then touring around nearby sights. A walk through exquisite Cherry blossoms followed by a visit to a traditional Japanese temple for a blessing was quite a cool experience.
After 2 lay days and plenty of surfing, everyone is eager to get the competition started. Sails are rigged, boards are strapped, and the brackets are ready. Skipper’s meeting is set for 8am. Updates will be coming through our social media channels on Instagram and Facebook, so stay tuned for the IWT Omaezaki Japan Cup!