Mr. Kumera’s talent: old hen makes good board


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Robert Scheidt proved last week, winning the World Laser Championships in Oman, that age is not a barrier to success.Haruyoshi Kumera of Japan, a sprightly 81-year-old who showed up in the same waters for the World Masters Championship, which is being run these days, picked up his lesson.

Aboard his Laser Radial, he is performing well: he is currently in 11th place (38 participants) and has also “shot” a quarter round. Kumera is from Osaka and competes in the Masters every 4-5 years (his last appearance was at the World Championships in Halifax, Canada, in 2009), but he has been racing Lasers since 1985 (a late start, at age 53!). His best result was in Melbourne in 1999, where he finished second in the Great Grand Master fleet. But where did this supernonno come from? “I train at Ashiya Marine Centre, between Osaka and Kobo, where there are several Lasers. We have about 600 active Laser sailors in Japan; I’ve also been national class president,” Kumera says. His daily workout includes a program of squats, push-ups, swimming and walking.

To watch him sail, you would never guess that Haruyoshi is 81 years old: no signs of stiffness on his body, no evidence of his old bones, no mental slowdowns that would affect tactical decisions in the race. Sailing keeps you young!



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