52 years old

Kamakura (Japon)

There is a story to end. Kojiro Shiraishi had the privilege of becoming the first Asian sailor to participate in the Vendée Globe in 2016, but wasn’t able to go all the way round following a dismasting in the Indian Ocean. This time, Kojiro will additionaly have a state-of-the-art machine to try to hold his own facing the designated favourites of this 2020 edition. The Japanese navigator has a few arguments to put forth : besides having a latest-generation IMOCA, he has significant experience around the globe. In 2006, after having participated in several multihull journeys alongside confirmed sailors like Lionel Lemonchois or Bruno Peyron, Kojiro finished second in the Velux Five Oceans behind the well-known Bernard Stamm.

In 2016, his boat was called Spirit of Yukoh, a homage to his mentor Yukoh Tada. This exceptional sailor, poet, musician and sometimes taxi driver literally trained Kojiro before committing suicide in Australia during the BOC Challenge 1991. He remains the model which inspires the Japanese navigator : on the transom of the boat, Kojiro has not omitted to write the official name of the ship : Spirit of Yukoh V.

During the Vendée Globe 2016 the Japanese sailor bewitched the general public with his humour and finesse. He also gained his competitors’ respect who discovered an unusual sailor, rightfully deserving his place amongst the family.


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