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Tiwal Japan in Hayama’s Kayak Race

Hayama Sailing Club’s annual relay at Morito Beach

The folk that gathered for the fourth annual sea kayak relay hosted by Hayama Sailing College (HSC) could not have been more at odds with the weather. While rain, cloudy skies, soggy life jackets persisted throughout the morning, relay participants were hearty and good-spirited as they cheered each other on during the race. It was live and let live. I had come down to Morito Beach to check out the new technology sailing dinghy designed by Tiwal Japan and also to watch their team in the race.

The race involves pairs within each team who kayak a distance out to sea and race back to pass the representative colored sash onto the next pair in the team. Although they didn’t clinch first place, Tiwal Japan performed extremely well given they were the only team with children in the relay.

Sailing in Japan is a great way to experience marine sports and feel welcome as part of the community. I felt this when the wetsuit-clad participants gathered around to hear the local mayor give an opening speech at the start of the race and again at the award ceremony at the race’s conclusion (which involved a group game of rock-paper-scissors). This is a great event to go watch, as the sailing college openly welcomes beginners and aims to show off the fun, leisure side of sailing, rather than as a serious sport.

Like HSC, the French company of Tiwal Japan hopes their new dinghy will encourage both newcomers and experienced sailors. That way, tourists with marine sport hobbies and curious beginners can get involved in sailing during their travels in Japan without first having to become a sailing heavyweight. The dinghy’s design reflects this value of inclusivity and fun, as it is light, simple and extremely user-friendly. Its lightweight carbon mast and twistable monofilm sail make it child-friendly and easy to adjust the wind speed. It is also compact, since it can be set up in roughly 20 minutes and packed away again into the back of a car boot. And of course, all of the above make it a sensible choice for inexperienced beginners.

If you’re in and around Tokyo and planning a trip to Enoshima (near Morito Beach), you might want to try a bit of sailing or try out Tiwal’s new dinghy, as Enoshima is also where the 2020 Olympics will hold its sailing events. Even if you’re only holidaying in Japan, it’s a great way to stay active and have fun in the sun with the whole family. Tiwal Japan and sailing clubs such as HSC provide that opportunity for those interested to get involved and dip their toes in the water!

Check out Tiwal Japan’s website and their Facebook page for more information on trialing the Tiwal or getting one for yourself.


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