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Itoman man to sail primitive boat to China for Olympics

Date Posted: 2007-08-09

Takuji Araki is a dreamer and an adventurous sort of guy.

The 32-year-old Okinawa marine and sports leisure promoter plans to sail to China in a primitive Sabani style boat. His goal is to reach China in time for the August 2008 opening of the Olympic Games. Araki plans to take his double-sided boat, the Kaijinmaru, across the seas navigating only by the stars, winds and waves. He’ll have no GPS navigation equipment on board.

“I want to promote Okinawan people’s marine culture to the world, when China is having the Olympic games.” He says he’ll arrive at Beijing via his boat. The Itoman City native is conducting summer training sails for crews participating in next year’s project. He plans to use eight crews, some including children.

The initial sailing was Sunday from Itoman City to Cape Hedo. Akai is looking for public support, including financial donations for the Outrigger Canoe Club Japan. He may be contacted at uminchumaru2008_8_8 expedition@yahoo.co.jp.

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