It’s not easy being a Vendée Globe challenger when you come from as far away from Les Sables d’Olonne as Kojiro Shiraishi – but an unusual ability to inspire sponsors and fans certainly helps...
At approximately 2am UTC on 4 December 2016, 27 days after the start of the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe, Japanese rookie Kojiro Shiraishi’s Imoca 60 Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in the darkness toward the entrance of the Southern Ocean, about 200 miles southwest of the tip of the African continent. All of a sudden Kojiro heard a strange noise, with his displays showing 0000. At first he thought he had lost the wind sensors, but soon found his mast was broken in two places.
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