Yacht Race 2015 (Jul. 4th)

Action from the 2014 Zamami Yacht Race.

Action from the 2014 Zamami Yacht Race.

A week after the 2015 Sabani Race (Jun. 27-28), Zamami Village will be holding its annual yacht race.  The oldest continually-running yacht race in Japan, the over 40-kilometer sprint from Ginowan Marina to Zamami Port will be entering its 38th year.  The Zamami Yacht Race is one of the nation’s premiere sailing events and draws an international crowd of competitors from around the country.

Competitors from across the country relaxing after a challenging day at sea.

Competitors from across the country relaxing after a challenging day at sea.

Standard sailboats, catamarans, and trimarans are divided across two classes of vessel determined by length.  Class II takes off from Ginowan Marina at 8:30 while the larger Class I vessels follow up with a 9:00 start time.

Competitors weave between Zamami's uninhabited islands.

Competitors weave between Zamami’s uninhabited islands.

Spectators can watch the action from Zamami’s Islands.  As boats reach the village, there are buoys strategically placed to allow for optimal viewing.  For example, one buoy is placed right in front of Furuzamami Beach and allows visitors to take in the competition while enjoying the ocean.

Gorgeous views and good competition make for great spectating.

Gorgeous views and good competition make for great spectating.

Another draw for spectators and visitors is a chance to experience riding a yacht.  Officials will begin taking names around 13:00 on a first come first serve basis.  Starting at around 14:30, sailors will take lucky visitors for 25-30 minute tours around Zamami’s uninhabited islands.  Get ready to experience the thrill of the sea for yourself!

Held on the 4th of July, the 2015 Zamami Yacht Race is an extra dose of entertainment for American visitors already celebrating their nation’s Independence Day.  Remember to follow the village rules including but not limited to: no open fires, always wear a shirt and shorts except when at the beach, don’t touch the coral, etc.

The race comes to a complete finish by 16:00 and is followed by an awards party in the port at 18:00.  Various restaurants and izakaya from the village will have stalls at the party selling food and drinks.  Draft beer will cost around 500 yen.

The winning team hoisting the coveted Zamami Cup.

The winning team hoisting the coveted Zamami Cup.

For 3000 yen, you can buy a “Party Ticket.”  The party ticket includes 4 tickets for the food stalls and an unlimited all you can drink ticket.  3000 yen is a hefty sum, but for those who plan to partake in heavy drinking, it might be a more economical option.

Zamami fans, get ready for one of the biggest events of the year!

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