The Land Rover BAR team got to grips with traditional Japanese sporting culture in the build-up to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series finale in Fukuoka, Japan, by working with a stable of Sumo wrestlers.
They visited the Kokonoe Beya Sumo Stable to experience one of the oldest sports in the world, which dates back to AD 794. The sailing team joined the wrestlers’ morning warm-up session and took part in one-on-one bouts.
Giles Scott, Tactician, Land Rover BAR, said: “It was a real honour 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 head-on into a brick wall. The two sports are complete extremes, but the mental preparation and focus is very similar. It was a unique and unforgettable experience to be allowed inside the inner sanctum of the sport.”
In keeping with the Japanese culture and tradition the team made an offering at a local Shinto Shrine, requesting good weather and good fortune for the race weekend ahead.
Land Rover BAR hold a 14-point lead in the overall series. The winner will take two points into the next stage of the 35th America’s Cup, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers. It’s the equivalent of two wins – a 20 per cent bonus on the remaining available points in the double round-robin, which starts in Bermuda on 26 May 2017.