Happy arrival: Arnaud Boissières
At the destination of his dreams: Kojiro Shiraishi
Arnaud Boissières completed his fourth Vendée Globe in 15th place and opened the jubilee Thursday in Les Sables-d'Olonne in the morning before the solo race around the world as Japan's first skipper with Kojiro Shiraishi ("DMG Mori Global One") 16. could finish and make history with it. With an air temperature of minus two degrees, the skippers on board their Imoca yachts and on land many fans with Bengalo fires provided festive lighting for the welcome party in the freezing cold. In the afternoon, the Swiss "LFabrique" skipper Alan Rour and Stéphane Le Diraison ("Time for Oceans") enjoyed the journey through the canal to the start and destination port after crossing the finish line, where later in the evening with the British "Medallia" skipper Pip Hare is expected to be the second best female sailor of this edition. We will report separately about the arrival of these three at YACHT online later.
Arnaud Boissières at the finish
With the many happy arrivals, the never-ending cheers reminded of the days of the decision between victory and defeat at the 9th Vendée Globe, when eight boats reached the destination within 24 hours on January 27th and 28th and Arnaud Boissière's close friend Yannick Bestaven who had won the Vendée Globe. Bestaven came back this Thursday like many fellow campaigners to greet and personally congratulate "LMie Câline - Artisans Artipôle" -kipper Boissières and the other returnees. Mutual support has a long tradition in France. When asked about his Vendée Globe story, Boissières, who took 94 days, 18 hours, 36 minutes and 6 seconds to get around the world, said: "After four participations, this is not just a story. This is my life."
Nice gesture: Vendée Globe winner Yannick Bestaven congratulates his good friend Arnaud Boissères on having finished the race
For Kojiro Shiraishi, the end of his journey not only marked the historic first achievement of an Asian skipper. For the 53-year-old from Kamakur, the completion of the "course of the three capes" is also the fulfillment of a dream that has been cherished for over 34 years and never lost sight of. It almost burst in the early stages in mid-November: Shiraishi had to fight for his mainsail for more than seven days after it broke six days after the start. What many experts, at first glance, had thought impossible to repair, the Japanese approached with tireless energy. The masterpiece succeeded. Kojiro Shiraishi was able to continue the race of his life with a steady endurance meeting and on February 11th, happily and gratefully, finished a little more than two weeks after Charlie Dalin's "Apivia", which had crossed the finish line first. The Shiraishi coup was achieved with a lot of patience, a positive attitude, mental strength and trust in the still young VPLP design "DMG Mori Global One".
Kojiro Shiraishi with the traditional Bengalos in both hands on the forecastle of his "DMG Mori Global One" as he enters the port of departure and destination Les Sables-d'Olonne
"It was really wonderful and a longer adventure than originally planned," said Kojiro Shiraishi at the finish. The Japanese went on to say: "To arrive and see all these familiar faces and people, that's really heartwarming. It's a miracle. I really didn't think the mainsail would hold. It's really unbelievable that it held out and I did was able to end this wonderful adventure. Arriving was my most important goal. But I also wanted to satisfy my sponsor, my team and the many fans who have encouraged me again and again. That makes me the proudest. " Shiraishi was inspired by his mentor for his performance: the Japanese sailor Yokoh Tad had won the BOC Challenge around the world in 1982/83 in class 2. "I've been dreaming of this Vendée Globe for more than 30 years - ever since my master Yukoh Tadvon Philippe Jeantot was invited to participate. It took 30 years to complete this circumnavigation. And I am proud that I was able to accomplish what Yukoh Tadtun wanted."
Not without my team: Kojiro Shiraishi and his country team celebrate the success of the Japanese skipper
Shiraishi's first attempt ended abruptly during the Vendée Globe 2016/17 when he lost the mast of his "Spirit of Yukoh" on December 4th, 2016. After that, the skipper had turned every stone to make another attempt. With the support of DMG Mori, the hull shapes of Jérémie Beyous "Charal", the "DMG Mori Global One" built at Multiplast in Vannes and named in August, project manager Charles Euverte and the small but fine land team, the plan succeeded. Shiraishi sailed 29,068 nautical miles over the ground at an average speed of 12.76 knots. His total sailing time: 94 days, 21 hours, 32 minutes and 56 seconds.
Here you can find the tracking and the results (please click!).
Arrived: Kojiro Shiraishi's "DMG Mori Globale One" is there