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CNMI’s Tajima earns honors in windsurfing tourney

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Wataru Tajima placed second place in the overall amateur category and third place in the professional category over 30 other individuals during the Japan Windsurfing Association’s inaugural 2021 Miyako Foil Japan Cup held from April 2 to 4 held in Miyakojima. (Contributed Photo)

Wataru Tajima received honors in the Japan Windsurfing Association’s inaugural 2021 Miyako Foil Japan Cup held from April 2 to 4 in Miyakojima.

Tajima, who was born on Saipan in 2000 and moved to Japan last year, represented the CNMI in the event where he ranked second place in the overall amateur category and 3rd place in the professional category against over 30 other individuals.

In addition, Tajima bagged third place in the Downwind-Foil race and fifth place in the Pro Upwind-Foil race.

According to Tajima, who has been windsurfing on the waves of Micro Beach since he was a child, he joined the inaugural event because it was a good opportunity to race with other known windsurfers.

“I just moved to Japan last year for windfoil since I cannot practice windfoil on Saipan. It was a good opportunity for me to race with famous Japanese professional foil windsurfers,” he said.

He said in terms of his results, he did his best and is satisfied with the honors he received for his first race of the event. He also plans to enter more tournaments as well as the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“We could only compete the races on the last day due to the wind condition. I am satisfied with the result of the tournament under this condition. I am planning to entry more tournaments to aim for Paris Olympic 2024,” he said.

Tajima has participated in the Windsurfing World Cup tournament 2018, representing CNMI, and also became a representative for the World Cup tournament 2019 and 2020 but could not attend due to work in 2019 and then due to COVID-19 in 2020.

A total of 30 Japanese foil windsurfers participated in the JWA’s first Foil Japan Cup tournament which also aims to prepare surfers for the Paris Olympic 2024.

JWA is a non-profit organization that runs various windsurfing competitions in Japan to promote and raise the level of Japanese windsurfing.

The event was held in Miyakojima, an island in Okinawa that is a little larger than Saipan and is known to have some of the best windsurfing spots in Japan.

Windfoil is a new style of windsurfing that uses hydrofoil to lift a windsurfing board out of the water.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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