Vendée Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire

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Vendée Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire

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Spirit of Yukoh has dismasted

Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above the attachment for the small jib.The Japanese sailor is not in danger and is busy trying to set up a jury rig. Kojiro is fine and in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and to determine whether it is possible to continue the race. He is safely heading for Cape Town.

Kojiro Shiraishi informed us late yesterday that the wind had increased a notch (35-40 knots) and that he had switched to J-3 (small jib) with three reefs in the mainsail. In the middle of the night the spar broke above the second layer of spreaders. The skipper is fine: he is remaining in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and identify whether it is possible to continue the race aboard Spirit of Yukoh.

The powerful winds which are blowing across practically the whole of the Southern Ocean has led to several incidents with damage reported. Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) had to lower his mainsail in the night following a problem with his mainsail traveller car: he is heading towards the NE towards Amsterdam Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean to see what can be done in calmer conditions. Arnaud Boissières (Le Mie Câline) also had the same problem during the night 350 miles SW of South Africa in winds that were not that exceptional (25-30 knots) but with heavy seas. Finally in Cape Town, Vincent Riou (PRB) set off again in the middle of the morning on Saturday from South Africa with part of his shore team to head for Brittany.

dismasted

Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire

At 0240 UTC on Sunday December 4th, Kojiro Shiraishi, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. The boat Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.

Kojiro has since then climbed the mast and succesfully removed the broken part of the mast. Kojiro and the team came to the conclusion that it was impossible to repair this damage and there were too many risks to allow him to continue in these conditions. He decided to retire from the race at 0830 UTC.
Kojiro is now safely heading for Cape Town.

Kojiro’s words :
“At 0330 UTC, I heard the mast break from inside of the boat. I quickly went outside to check the damage but the mast had broken in half above the second spreader. I was able to remove the broken piece and I will need to go up again to do some cleaning. The wind was 20 knots at the time I dismasted. I’m okay. I don’t need any assistance, and I am heading for Cape Town. I am sorry for everyone who supported me in this journey and would like to particularly thank my sponsors for their kind support.”

All the sponsors for this project have said that they are relieved that Kojiro was not injured during this incident. They are all looking forward to assisting Kojiro in his future adventures.

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