Code Zero arrives

Around Alone's Japanese entry reaches Cape Town

Wednesday December 4th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi sailed his Open 40 Spirit of yukoh across the finish line in Cape Town at 22:05:51 local time (20:05:51 GMT) on December 3rd to take fourth place in Class 2 of Around Alone 2002-03 Leg 2. Moments after crossing the line Tim Kent and Bruce Schwab stepped on board and embraced the Japanese sailor, affectionately known to all as ‘Code Zero’. Derek Hatfield came to the welcome dock at the V&A Waterfront to congratulate his fellow competitor on his race. Sushi was brought to the boat from Balducci’s Restaurant in the V&A – the one thing Koji had been dreaming of since leaving Torbay, England 50 days ago.

The leg from England had been long and arduous after a hasty pit-stop in Torbay where Spirit of yukoh spent every second on the hard getting his keel bolts replaced, only to be put back in the water and arrive at the start line with moments to spare before the gun. It became evident that the Finot designed Spirit of yukoh was going to be a rocket ship downwind, and twice, in the trades and last week past the South Atlantic High, Koji made serious inroads into the fleet ahead, only to be foiled by light, fickle breezes and unfavourable upwind conditions in the Southern Atlantic.

Last week he sailed to within 90 miles of Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada, but the High moved ever so slightly and enveloped the Japanese sailor with calm winds scuttling his plans for a podium finish. His fourth place finish still has him ahead of Bayer Ascensia, the only 50-footer still sailing, and for that alone he must be grateful.

Positions at 0600hrs GMT 4th December 2002
Class 1
Boat Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF (nm)
1. Tiscali, 30 31.120 S 13 41.480 W 10.21 kt 107 °T 1636.99 nm
Class 2
1. Bayer Ascensia, 35 10.480 S 9 05.120 E 6.51 kt 87 °T 468.45 nm
2. BTC Velocity, 36 37.560 S 6 50.960 E 8.26 kt 93 °T 590.54 nm

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