Kojiro Shiraishi, the 53-year-old Japanese solo skipper of DMG MORI, crossed the finish line off Les Sables d’Olonne at 10:52:58hrs UTC this Thursday 11th February to take 16th place in the Vendée Globe and in so doing become the first ever Asian skipper to complete the famous non-stop solo race around the world. Shiraishi’s elapsed time for his race is 94d 21hrs 32mins and he finishes 14d 17hrs 48m 10s behind Yannick Bestaven and 2hrs 56mins behind Arnaud Boissieres.
Completing the course is the culmination of a 34-year dream, a major triumph for Shiraishi who spent more than seven days completing major repair to a potentially race ending tear in his mainsail which occurred just six days after the start on November 8th. Since then, the Japanese skipper has had to sail cautiously to look after his fragile mainsail, always sailing with one reef in the mainsail. Read on.