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4 December 2002, 03:38 pm
Kojiro Shiraishi (JPN) Finishes Leg Two
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Koji with other Around Alone skippers© Roy Riley/Marinepics

Around Alone
Cape Town

Kojiro Shiraishi (JPN) has slowly crept into the hearts of all the Around Alone skippers. His English is scratchy at best, but he is one of those unique individuals whose gestures and body language tell a story all their own.

This evening when he sailed Spirit of Yukoh across the finish line in Cape Town it was obvious that he was delighted to finally put an end to Leg 2. Throwing his arms in the air and waving at the spectator yachts, it was clear to anyone watching that Koji, or Code Zero as he is affectionately known, was delighted to be in South Africa.

The leg from England had been long and arduous. It seemed that whenever Koji was making a charge for the front of the pack the weather god's foiled his plans. A few days ago he sailed to within 90 miles of Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada, but the South Atlantic 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. Moments after crossing the line Tim Kent and Bruce Schwab stepped on board and embraced the Japanese sailor. His official finish time was 22:05:51 local time (20:05:51 GMT).

During Leg 2 Koji regaled us with his daily updates and more than any other skipper in the race he has he kept us updated with creative images from on board. Who could forget his squid and flying fish meal in the tropics or his Around Alone toe family (see photo gallery if you are confused). Welcome to Cape Town Kojiro and enjoy that long awaited sushi meal. You deserve every soy sauce soaked morsel."

Brian Hancock/ISAF Secretariat
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