22 athletes from Japan will trial to join SoftBank Team Japan during the teams crew try-outs to take place from 27th to 29th November, at Riviera Zushi Marina outside Tokyo in Japan. The 3-day selection procedure would comprise intense fitness testing as well as sailing exercises with personal interviews to pin down the free-enterprise field with the target of inviting 2 athletes to become a part of the sailing team.
Dean Barker, the skipper, told that they want the best athletes Japan has to offer. He believes that pinning it down to a few candidates at the end of the try-outs will be an extremely difficult task. They are looking ahead to meeting as well as building relationships with the candidates and expect everyone to put their best.
The trial invitations followed a 3-month long open application procedure which saw hundreds of Japanese athletes give online resumes. The team was astonished at the caliber of applications with the final roster that included top Japanese rowers, sailors, as well as even professional basketball and ice hockey players.
Kazuhiko Sofuku, the team general manager and bowman, said that they have got an incredible amount of applicants, and they all look really great. For Kazuhiko Sofuku, this is an important milestone in Japans restoration to Louis Vuitton Americas Cup contest after having been absent for the last fifteen years. Having raced in 4 Louis Vuitton Americas Cup meets, he expects to pass on his experience and inspire the coming generation of Japanese sailors.