Final Preparations are underway for the Hansa Class World Cup 2018, that will be held at Hiroshima Kannon Marina from October 12 (Friday) to 18 (Thursday). Participants from all over the world will be arriving to compete, including the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Tonga, United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Poland, U.S., Australia, New Zealand, France, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and of course Japan.
This will be the first time that this biennial sailing event is taking place in Asia. There are three main types of Hansa boats: 2.3, 303 and Liberty, varying from one to two sails and with capacities for one or two people. But what makes the Hansa Class World Cup different from other competitions is that it features people of various abilities; both able-bodied and less able-bodied people compete on equal terms.
Hansa boats were designed by Australian Chris Mitchell, who first built them as “colourful nice little boats” that were also easy for everyone to use. The stability and user-friendly design meant that they soon attracted the attention of sailing clubs for physically disabled people. Chris stresses, however, that the boats were not specially designed for disabled people:
“If anyone with a disability wanted to join in, they can, and you don’t have to have a disabled sailing program — it’s for anybody.”
He later added, “The best thing you can do for disabled people is to use these boats for everyone.”
Introducing two competitors from Japan
Masano Moriyama, who has being sailing since 2014, started doing it as a form of rehabilitation. She will be participating for the first time in an international race, having been in the Peace Cup twice already.
She used to play Sitting Volleyball before yacht sailing was recommended to her. She found that sailing doesn’t require as much strength and stamina, and that there are many other enjoyable aspects, such as making friends with other sailors and being so close to the sea.
She says that everyone should try sailing because it is so open for anyone to learn; from kids to the elderly and people with disabilities.
Ryo has been sailing for nine years, since the age of 14. He practices every week with the support of his mother. For the first time, he is going to use a battery-operated joystick which he can use to manoeuvre the sails.
Of the 34 Liberty boats, 11 will have these joysticks installed.
The official opening ceremony for the Hansa Class Worlds is from 16:00 to 18:00 on Saturday October 13. Races will take place from Sunday October 14 to Thursday October 18 (starting at 10:00 am and 13:00). The racing area is at Hiroshima Kannon Marina, just beyond the Marina Hop Shopping Mall.
Everybody is welcome to go along and cheer.
The event is being organized by the Japan Sailing Federation (JSAF), in conjunction with the International Hansa Class Association (IHCA) and the Japan Hansa Class Association (JHCA)and is being operated by the Hiroshima Sailing Federation (HSAF).
For further information, see http://2018hansaworlds.com/i/index.html.
Top photo: © 2018hansaworlds.com/