Translated message in English, as of June 12. 2016
by Watson Courtier.
In all sincerity, I would like to say my sincere appreciation for everybody who are supporting me and our team.
I got a qualification for the Vendee Globe 2016~17 as my long dream of my life !
This is the Miracle !!
I have no way without thinking this miracle coming with all people who are supporting us, team.
In retrospact, it's a just April 10, a first time for me to ride on this boat. Only 2 months later, I am standing up on the Les Sables d'Olonne port that is a starting point and finishing point for the Vendee Globe 2016~2017 with the tremendous greeting and prises.
Our boat is IMOCA60, a monstor boat and there are not same boats in japan. We repaired and reinforced it only within three weeks and crossed the Atrantic Ocean for a delivery. We couldn't use an electricity broke and only with a manual handling, I and Gills (co-captain) crossed over the Atrantic Ocean without an auto-pilot.
And 10 more days later, I joined the New York vendee(Les sables d'Olonne) race in which many competitors were there. If I coudn't finish successfully, my dream to join the Vendee Globe race would be over. Honesty speaking, I felt a huge pressure, as if I fail, I don't know what I can do or how I can apologize to every person who is supporting to me reminding a past decade as I suffered, and got sponsers and bought the boat. Those covered all in my head. I am usually keeping a smile, however, I wasn't stable in a last few days.
I 'm keeping a smile with endureing to the end of getting happy.
But according to my thinking, I understood that it's a too much amount of money to fill in, and it is difficult for me to compensate such a huge amount as 100 million units of yen, and also difficult not to avoid a disappointment of every supporter, if so, I should do my best of which I could do without excuses. I am ashamed that if I shouldn't do my best effort without beliving my ability.
The past early half of race, I felt tired because of a buildup of fatigue and suffered for my conditions, however a last half, I got back to be well conditions, and be able to continue the race having only some small troubles. To keep the boat without troubles, it's hard. In this race, many boats went back to the port with collisions. In those environments, it's extremely difficult to keep a boat without any injuries. I hadn't any spare sails.
I expected to take many nice pictures of my boat by Youichi Yabe (camera man) as coming into a port by a sunset time, but my finish was to be in a midnight with a light breeze. So I thought that provably an one boat with our staffs will be coming to see me, I felt sorry for them in those midnight.
On the near point closely the finish line, suddenly a wind was coming that was over 20 knots. Here is very short distance between the finish line to the entrance of the port, so I made a sail to be reduced as an one point reef, at that time, I felt some voices surrounding my boat with many shouts of joy. I found over 10 boats along with my boat. I was really suprised. In the midnight, such many people were welcoming me to the port and on a harbor, there were many local people standing by with clapping. I was deeply impressed. What a beautiful city I felt. In the city, there are schools teaching an Ocean Yacht Racing. It's a city a yacht racing is taking root.
I was thinking that all people were probably disappointed, I felt sorry. In spite of this, many people including not only Japanese supporters but officials and other skippers said " the tremendous race. In such conditiona as there are many candidates for the winner, you got a 7th position with a very good sailing." It's my honor.
I felt that this is a miracle occured by your support activities for us. In a normal case, we should proceed testing a boat and sails, and exercising, but in this case, our team should have done those activities in only two months and they the great team have done it. You will praise them too.
And to many people who supporting us including sponsors, members of support teams, followers on a like Face book, investors who will be joining a cloud founding and all of yours supporting us, I would like to present my appreciation for your kind supports. I should continue efforts for the start of the Vendee Globe 2016~2017 on November 6th with a refreshed mind. Our project is still running under a short budget, so I should be going back to Japan once more and try to get more sponsors. My aim is to make them to be knowing more the Vendee Globe as the tremendous race.
Please continue your suppor to us.
Sincerely all of yours.
Original article written by Kojiro Shiraishi
in Les Sables d'Olonne in France.
as of June 12. 2016.
Translated by Watson Courtier.