Now, this year. The event, which had been canceled since 2020 due to the Covid-19, was held for the first time in four years with the participation of 32 teams. Of course, our BLUE STARS took part in the race, with a slightly changed line-up.
Before the main competition, the team participated in a special training session with a coach from the Shimonoseki Fisheries College Cutter Club in order to achieve the long-awaited first victory. However, things did not go well in the beginning because it had been a long time since they had practiced on the water. Some of them were selfishly going at their own pace, others were pale from the sudden anaerobic exercise, but after much time and practice, they gradually began to get along with each other and move smoothly as if gliding on the surface of the sea.
Then came the day of the battle. The "9th Shimonoseki Cutter Race" began, blessed with perfect weather during the break in the rainy season. The KYOKUYO BLUE STARS crews, who had gotten the hang of rowing during the practice session, were determined to win the first race of the season.
The competitors in the first race were "TEAM SHIPBUILDER" from Odo Shipbuilding Corporation, and "TEAM SHIMOSEN" from Shimosen Co., Ltd., a ship-related materials trading company that is the main sponsor of this race and a business partner of Kyokuyo - in other words, three teams from the same industry. It was a difficult combination because none of us wanted to lose but it would also be a little embarrassing to beat up on our business partners!
BLUE STARS made a great dash at the start signal. They showed a flawless oar stroke to the call of the boat commander, and rounded the turning buoy at the head of the fleet. However, they were overtaken by "TEAM SHIMOSEN", which maintained a remarkably steady pace throughout the race, and as the gap gradually widened, the oars of the impatient crews began to break apart, and they were quickly chased by "TEAM SHIPBUILDER". However, they managed to hold on and finished in second place!
Under previous rules, the game would have ended at this point, but since the number of participants in this year's competition was still relatively small, the 22 teams that finished second or higher in each race and the two teams that won the Loser's Resurrection would advance to the semifinals. BLUE STARS unexpectedly made it to the second round for the first time, but the semifinals were a "death match" with the previous champion and runner-up teams. In the semifinals, BLUE STARS had cut their time by nearly 18 seconds, but unfortunately, the gap between them and the top teams was still too big, and needless to say, they were mercilessly sunk by a huge margin. The summer of Kyokuyo BLUE STARS came to an end with a time of 15th place out of 24 teams in the semifinals.