The Land Rover BAR sailing team recently visited the Kokonoe Beya Sumo Stable in Fukuoka, Japan ahead of the final regatta for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series title.
Sumo wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world, dating back to AD 794. The Land Rover BAR sailing team were able to join the wrestlers as they went through their morning warm-up session and then were able to take part in a few one-on-one bouts as the wrestlers prepared for a tournament later the same day.
“We’ve been honored to meet some of the best sumo wrestlers in the whole of Japan. Unbelievably huge guys,” says David ‘Freddie’ Car, Floater, “They’re wrestling at like 60 percent today because they’ve got a championship wrestle tonight. To see was phenomenal and then to be allowed in at the end and try and do a few basic moves with them just goes to show how weak we are compared to those fellows they were unbelievable athletes, and very humble. I feel very lucky to have seen what we saw today.
Giles Scott, Tactician for Land Rover BAR, continues, “It was a real honor to be invited into the Sumo Stable here today in Fukuoka to meet the athletes as they prepare for the tournament. I did not appreciate just how strong these guys are: it’s like running hear-on into a brick wall. The two sports are complete extremes, but the mental preparation and focus is very similar. It was unique and unforgettable experience to be allowed inside the inner sanctum of the sport.”
After meeting with the wrestlers the Land Rover BAR sailing team made an offering, keeping with the Japanese culture and tradition, at a local Shinto Shrine. The team asked for good luck and weather for their upcoming race.
The winner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series gets two points (the equivalent of two wins) that will carry over into the next stage of the competition, the America’s Cup Final, set to kick off in Bermuda in May of 2017.