39th Zamami Yacht Race (2 July 2016)

Zamami Yacht Race

To follow up on our preview of the upcoming 2016 Sabani Race, we would like to announce the 39th Annual Zamami Yacht Race scheduled for 2 July 2016.  The oldest and longest running yacht race in Japan, the Zamami Yacht Race draws competitors from around the nation to sail head to head in a race across the waters between Okinawa Island and Zamami Village.  Toward the end of the race, the thirty or so sailing yachts will wind their way between Zamami Village’s many islands and through its aqua, blue, and turquoise waters.  This year in particular, organizers have aimed the event at exchange between visitors and villagers as well as the promotion of maritime culture.  In addition, the 10th Annual Junior Yacht Race will take place June 23 at 9:00.

The battle between approximately thirty boats and over three-hundred competitors starts at Ginowan Marina on Okinawa Island.  Vessels are divided into three classes: Class I, Class II, and the Multihull Class.  Classes I and II are both comprised of monohull yachts and differ only in size, while the Multihull Class is comprised of such boats as catamarans and trimarans.  The multihulls are scheduled to start at 8:30, followed by Class II at 8:45, and Class I at 9:00.  Teams take usually anywhere from three to six hours to sail the twenty-eight nautical-mile (approximately fifty kilometer) race from Ginowan to the waters just outside of Zamami Port.

By WPPilot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By WPPilot (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Although spectators will find it difficult to see any action until the boats approach Zamami, this year features a Yacht Experience Event among its festivities.  Scheduled to begin at 14:30 from Zamami Port’s floating pier, the Yacht Experience Event provides the rare opportunity to glide across Zamami’s transparent waters in a large sailing yacht.  Give yacht sailing a try, and you might discover a new passion.

Zamami Yacht Race Sails

Lastly, the Yacht Race will be followed by the usual Zamami-style water-side party held in Zamami Port.  Local restaurants will provide food and drink for racers and visitors alike.  The main purpose of the party is to celebrate the racers, the winners, sailing, and maritime culture, while enjoying the beautiful backdrop that is Zamami Village.

Post-race gathering of vessels in preparation of the evening's festivities.

Post-race gathering of vessels in preparation of the evening’s festivities.


  • Date: 2 July 2016
  • Race Start: Ginowan Marina (Multihulls 8:30, Class II 8:45, and Class I 9:00)
  • Racecourse: Across the straight between Okinawa Island and Kerama Islands, then between the many islands that comprise Zamami Village
  • Yacht Experience Event: 14:30 start at Zamami Port’s floating pier
  • Awards Ceremony & Party: 18:00 start at Zamami Port

Zamami Yacht Race Start


One comment

  1. […] weeks of beautiful weather, a successful sabani race all the way to Naha, and the completion of the 39th Annual Yacht Race from Ginowan to Zamami, the first typhoon of the year has formed in the Pacific and looks like it […]


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