10 May 2007
Elliott 16 metre schooner COCORIN sailed by Itaru Matsunaga and John Bankart finished 2nd in the Melbourne to Osaka race with the elapsed time of 33D 01h 51m 22s. Cocorin took the race lead on April 2 and led most of the way until the last 24 hours when the light airs they had been experiencing for several days finally took there toll and they were passed by eventual race winner Alex. Coming up into the bay Cocorins main halyard broke and the main fell down. They waited until morning to fix it. In the morning the bay was like glass and it took forever to sail that last seven miles. This was Matsunagas first Osaka Cup race but although he has not competed in the race before, the 45 year old skipper from Tokyo has been involved in the past three races saying My sailing master Mr Shigeo Saito competed in the 1987 race and that is why I wanted to do it myself some day, it has been a big dream for a long time. I am very grateful to my sister and crew who helped me with the preparation of my campaign and who delivered my yacht to Melbourne for me. No novice to the winners podium, Matsunaga won both the 2005 Ogasawara Race and the 2006 Toba Pearl Race. CONGRATULATIONS ITARU !!!