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April 2021

KOJIRO SHIRAISHI (JPN)

 Nomination
Shiraishi started the Vendée Globe on a new design but with the stated intention to finish the race first and then see where he was in the final results. Such humility and openness are rare in big events that require very large sponsorship to take part in. The very open approach is partly to respect his mentor, the late BOC class winner and Tokyo taxi driver Yukoh Tada. Dr Mori, the founder of his sponsor DMG, also respected someone who told it straight. And Kojiro did finish
 Why they won
‘All of Japan is proud of Kojiro’ – Yuko Katsuka; ‘He never gave up with the spirit of Yukoh… now I too have decided to learn ocean sailing’ – Keiichi Uezumi; ‘I have really enjoyed Clarisse’s cute vlog but I am sorry that I am Japanese so I vote for Kojiro!!!’ – Jun Wakiyama; ‘He is a hero and gave a lot of advice to my son when he was little’ – Yoshihisa Nakagawa; ‘He spent a week repairing his mainsail but he never considered giving up and retiring’ – Chako Tobari.