Sailor Kojiro Shiraishi

  • Date of Birth :
  • May 8th, 1967
  • Place of Birth :
  • Kamakura, Japan
  • Education :
  • Yokohama National University Primary School
    Misaki Maritime Engineering Secondary School (Kanagawa-pref Marine Science High School)


Kojiro Shiraishi, 49, will be the first Asian to take part in the Vendée Globe. This is an important step forward in the internationalization of the Everest of the seas. To understand this character, you first need to look at the name of his boat: Spirit of Yukoh. A name, which pays homage to Kojiro’s mentor, Yukoh Tada. A legend in the small world of Asian ocean racing, because the taxi driver from Tokyo was like someone out of a novel: a sailor, musician (saxophonist) and Buddhist, winner of the BOC Challenge in his category, he took young Kojiro under his wing. Unfortunately, according to the legend, the wide range of problems he encountered with the 50-foot Koden VIII for the 1990-1991 BOC Challenge (the boat lost her keel and capsized three times) lay behind Yukoh’s suicide in Sydney, Australia on 9th March 1991.
Kojiro Shiraishi was the young disciple or rather pupil of Yukoh Tada, the pillar of his team. In 1994, at the age of 26, Kojiro became the youngest sailor to complete a solo round the world voyage. It is in the memory of Yukoh Tada too that Kojiro Shiraishi stood out in Around Alone in 2003, the second position in the Velux Five Oceans Class I(60-feet), the solo round the world race with stopovers in 2006. In this event, in which he competed on an IMOCA already called Spirit of Yukoh, he once again made it all the way around the world in 118days finishing second behind a certain Bernard Stamm. So he is far from being a newcomer. Before and after this feat, Kojiro Shiraishi also pleased French crews looking for the Pacific record: in 1998 aboard Explorer skippered by Bruno Peyron and ten years later in 2008, with the crew of Gitana 13 led by Lionel Lemonchois…

Outside of his sailboat racing career, he dedicates his time to “Riviera Marine School” which is the physical and emotional education to the children through nature, and he is a project leader of “Unesco Kids – World natural heritage project for elementary school students”. He is also a long time supporter for foster homes. In 2014 and 2015, the “Oshima Challenge”, an overnight roundtrip sailing between Zushi and Izu Oshima, for high school students leaning sailboat, dignity of nature, and importance of having dream with your life, has been organized very successfully.

So this is the great character, who is about to represent for the first time a whole continent in the Vendée Globe. He isn’t in it just to complete the voyage either. His boat is none other than the 2007 Farr designed boat previously sailed by Alex Thompson, Sébastien Josse and Roland Jourdain, which is still an excellent boat, capable of getting a good result. Kojiro Shiraishi proved that recently taking seventh place in the New York-Vendée transatlantic race with a lot of respect and expressing his zen attitude.


  • 1988
  • Crew member of the Nakhodka to Fukuoka crossing during the Japan Sea Cup
  • 1989
  • Crew member of the New Zealand to Hakata crossing
  • 1991
  • Single handed crossing Sydney to Japan on Open 50
  • 1993-94
  • Circumnavigation the youngest (age 26) a nonstop, unassisted solo voyage on Spirit of Yukoh, (176days, 46,115km)
  • 1996
  • Compete in Eco Challenge in British Colombia
  • 1997 February
  • Compete in The Raid Gauloises in South Africa. 11th the best rank in Japanese.
  • 1998 August
  • Pacific Ocean crossing the world record on Catamaran “Explorer” with Bruno Peyron Yokohama to San Francisco (14days 17hours)
  • 2000 July
  • Compete in Camel Trophy Tonga/Samoa 2000
  • 2002-2003
  • Around Alone class II 4th
  • 2006-2007
  • VELUX 5 OCEAN class I 2nd
  • 2008
  • Pacific Ocean crossing the world record on Maxi Catamaran "Gitana 13" with Loïc Lemonchois. San Francisco to Yokohama (11days 1minutes 55 seconds)
  • 2016 June
  • Transat New York Vendée, IMOCA 60 class, 7th
  • 2016 November
  • Schedule to compete in Vendée Globe, non-stop solo round the world race without assistance



  • 1999
  • Shizuoka-Pref New Century Creative Festival General Award in Sports division
    The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Award
  • 2007
  • Kanagawa-Pref Honorary Citizen of Kanazawa-Ku
  • 2013
  • Yellow Ribbon Award (Best father)


  • TBS TV   Jonetsu Tairiku, Birth Day, Hitachi Sekai Hushigi Hakken
  • Fuji TV   Mezamashi TV
  • NHK   Top Runner, Science Zero
  • TV Asahi   Ikinari Oogon Densetsu
  • BS-TBS   Visit Japanese Beautiful Mountain/Superb View
  • BS-TBS   Travel through ocean from the world: The voyage to Adria


  • 2012-current   Principal of Riviera Marine School
  • 2008-current   Project Leader of Unesco Kids - World natural heritage project for elementary school students
  • 2011-current   Support committee of Fukushima Kids - Let’s protect kids in Fukushima
  • 2014-current   Project Leader of Oshima Challenge – program to support high school students in foster homes


  • 「There is dream in you」
  • 「Dream, Challenge and people network」
  • 「Crossing seven seas」
  • 「There is a wall but you will get over it」
  • 「Mental strength-overcome a difficulty and grow strong mind」