JRC co-sponsors Japanese around-the-world sailing champion

Minoru Saito, 74, Guinness Book world record holder as the most senior person to sail around the world at the time of his seventh circumnavigation. At the age of 71, Saito will soon set sail on ‘Challenge 8’, an even more daunting voyage. This time he will sail single-handed and non-stop westward around the world, against opposing winds, waves and currents, which is said to be a challenge on the same level as climbing Mount Everest without oxygen.

His 56-foot steel sailing vessel will be equipped with a sponsored JRC JUE-33 Fleet 33, the terminal of choice of many marine users worldwide. Its compact design with one of the smallest Fleet 33 antennas is a well suited solution for smaller vessels.

It is important to note this is an ideal solution, not only as a primary communication tool, but for whatever application, the JUE-33 is an easy-to-fit system. Only one coaxial cable is required to connect the antenna to the below deck unit. This makes it a virtually ‘plug and go’ phone to keep the world updated on the adventures of Minoru Saito at sea.

The JUE-33 will be used not only for telephony, email, and fax messaging, but also for downloading real-time weather data and graphic forecasts, using highly specific weather software developed by ClearPoint Precision Weather. Such software is useful for ships on the open ocean, permitting location-specific details on weather and sea conditions.

Saito has nearly completed extensive refitting of his boat, ‘Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III,’ and will continue final preparations before his journey starts at the end of September 2008. He recently sailed it 9,500 km from Auckland where it was refitted with new mast, sails, engine, auto tiller, and other mission-critical components.

Challenge 8 is an officially approved event within the program of the 150th anniversary of the Port of Yokohama in May 2009 when he will be back after his unassisted circumnavigation with no port calls. It will be the eighth time Saito has sailed around the world solo since the age of 53, when he began competitive sailing.

When he arrives back in Japan he will be 75 years old, further advancing his Guinness Book world record and potentially adding several others.

JRC, as a contributing sponsor, wishes Minoru Saito all the best and good luck on his upcoming solo around-the-world adventure.