A Strange Thing Happened On the Way To The Velux


Spirit of Yukoh at pace
 

Spirit of Yukoh at pace

Josh Hall recounts a terrifying incident in the Cape Verdes
Lightyears ago, back in February, my loyal colleague, Laurent and I were approached by Japanese solo skipper Koji Shiraishi to manage and prepare his new steed Spirit of Yukoh ( the ex- Temenos of Dominique Wavre) for the Velux 5 Oceans race. I have known Koji for some 20 years and we quickly agreed that this would be a nice, calm, organised project to get involved with. Of course, like most sailors, we are overly blessed with memory loss and were soon delving deep into the heart of a tired Open 60 that was in need of much TLC. The team expanded at a corresponding rate to the issues we discovered as, of course, did Koji’s overdraft but we stayed on our projected target path of refit, qualifier, modify and get the hell down to Bilbao in time for the off. Throughout the refit of the boat at JMV in Cherbourg, Koji was omnipresent, keen as Japanese mustard to know his boat inside out and be a party to all the mods and tweaks that too many years on the circuit led us to make. One of the big issues he had in physically sailing his new machine was that it was built for 6ft 6” Dominique and so the cockpit depth meant he could not reach the outboard rope clutches nor get his shoulder into the winchs. Now Koji is an admirable height ( same as myself) but clearly did not fit his boat. The choice was he ordered Dubarry’s with high heels or we raised the cockpit floor. We would have gone for the former but Dubarry would’nt play ball, so new cockpit floor it was. In reality however, the biggest single issue was getting Koji sensible miles on his boat as he has stepped onto an Open 60 direct from an

VISITORS