Yanmar announces its sponsorship of “Team Ichino”, Japan’s men’s 470-class sailing team representative for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. This is one of the many ways Yanmar is promoting its premium brand through sports. Team Ichino is a sailing team comprised of Olympic trainees Naoki Ichino and Junpei Hokazono, and will take part in several races inside and outside of Japan as it prepares for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The team is concentrating on increasing its participation in large international races so that it can achieve its ultimate goal: winning the gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Sailing is an “eco-sport” and only requires the natural energy sources of wind and waves. This, along with the determination to create more environmentally responsible technologies, have inspired Yanmar to also support “Yanmar Racing” (2008-2012), led by world-renowned sailor Peter Gilmour, as well as “Oracle Team USA” (2013-Present), champions of the 33rd and 34th America’s Cup. Now, Yanmar will also back Team Ichino, aiming to support the dreams and endeavors of the next great generation of sailors. The team’s first race, the Open 470 European Championships, will open July 9 in Athens, Greece.
1. 470-Class Sailing
470-class sailing takes place on two-man boats called “dinghies” that measure only 470cm in length. The “skipper” is in charge of steering, while the “crew” controls the tilt of the vessel. Teams maneuver around buoys to be the first to reach the finish line. In recent years, Japanese sailors have had impressive results on the international stage. At the Atlanta Olympics of 1996, Yumiko Shige and Alicia Kinoshita took home the silver medal, and at the Athens Olympics in 2004, Kazuto Seki and Kenjiro Todoroki won bronze.
2. Team Ichino
Teach Ichino was formed in December 2013. Both members have been aiming to become world class sailors since they were students. Naoki Ichino won several Japanese sailing titles in high school and university. He has admired world-class sailor Peter Gilmour since Ichino was in elementary school, and remembers how much he cherished his Gilmour-autographed hat as a child. Junpei Hokazono has also won his share of Japanese titles in university, and even took the bronze medal at the World University Games in 2011. He has a deep love for the sea and yachting. Since becoming fascinated with sailing in high school, Hokazono has continually striven to become the world’s best sailor. The two team members remark, “Despite certain circumstances and almost giving up at one point, we are realizing our dream to race at an international level. Last year in December, we decided to compete for the opportunity to represent Japan in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. We won and now have our chance to go against the world’s best. Our ultimate goal is to win the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and we are working hard to achieve that. We aim to become sailors that will inspire people and spread interest for sailing throughout Japan. “It has also been our dream since we were young to one day participate in another race that Yanmar supports: the America’s Cup. We could not be happier to be partnered with such an organization and firmly believe this is an enormous opportunity for us. “We will make the most of this opportunity as we go up against the world’s best. We hope to be a team that can help establish a culture of sailing in Japan, and make that our mission. Sailing is an experience that cannot be described in words, but holds abounding possibilities.”
Naoki Ichino Junpei Hokazono 470-Class Dinghy
Note: Information contained in News Releases is valid at the time of publication and may differ from the most recently available information.