Kojiro SHIRAISHI

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Kojiro SHIRAISHI

52 years old

Kamakura (Japon / Japan)

Kojiro Shiraishi, 49, will be the first Asian to take part in the Vendée Globe. This is an important step forward in the internationalisation of the Everest of the seas. To understand this character, you first need to look at the name of his boat: Spirit of Yukoh. A name, which pays homage to Kojiro’s mentor, Yukoh Tada. A legend in the small world of Asian ocean racing, because the taxi driver from Tokyo was like someone out of a novel: a sailor, musician (saxophonist) and Buddhist, winner of the BOC Challenge in his category, he took young Kojiro under his wing. Unfortunately, according to the legend, the wide range of problems he encountered with the 50-foot Koden VIII for the 1990-1991 BOC Challenge (the boat lost her keel and capsized three times) lay behind Yukoh’s suicide in Sydney, Australia on 9th March 1991.

Kojiro Shiraishi was the young disciple or rather pupil of Yukoh Tada, the pillar of his team. At the age of 26, Kojiro became the youngest sailor to complete a solo round the world voyage. It is in the memory of Yukoh Tada too that Kojiro Shiraishi stood out in Around Alone in 2003, and above all in the Velux Five Oceans, the solo round the world race with stopovers, in 2006. In this event, in which he competed on an IMOCA already called Spirit of Yukoh, he once again made it all the way around the world in 118 days finishing second behind a certain Bernard Stamm. So he is far from being a newcomer. Before and after this feat, Kojiro Shiraishi also pleased French crews looking for the Pacific record: in 1998 aboard Explorer skippered by Bruno Peyron and ten years later in 2008, with the crew of Gitana 13 led by Lionel Lemonchois…

So this is the great character, who is about to represent for the first time a whole continent in the Vendée Globe. He isn’t in it just to complete the voyage either. His boat is none other than the 2007 Farr designed boat previously sailed by Alex Thomson, Sébastien Josse and Roland Jourdain, which is still an excellent boat, capable of getting a good result. Kojiro Shiraishi proved that recently taking seventh place in the New York-Vendée transatlantic race with a lot of respect and expressing his zen attitude.

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