Wataru Sakamoto defied home advantage and the rankings to win the Asia regional final of the ISAF Nations Cup in Vladivostok and qualify for the Grand Final in Middelfart, Denmark on August 6-10.
After three days racing in Platu 25s in stable 6-12 knot south-easterly winds at the Seven Feet Yacht Club on the waters of Amursky Bay, Sakamoto dominated Singapore’s Maximilian Soh in the final on Sunday, reeling off three successive victories. Soh will also get a wildcard to the Grand Final in Middelfart.
Japan and Singapore join the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Finland, Australia, New Zealand and of course, Denmark in the Open category of the Grand Final.
For an elated Sakamoto, coached by the Laurie Jury, the winner of the last Nations Cup in 2011, it was third time lucky in Vladivostok.
“For sure, it a surprise to win, in spite of aiming it every time,” Sakamoto said. “I’m very happy as it is our third time to challenge in Vladivostok and we didn’t succeed to get the golden medal before.”