Saito Challenge 8 Fact Sheet

News Release
September 14, 2011
Saito Challenge 8
Contact: Hunter Brumfield
Phone: (+81 3) 3626-3539
Mobile: (+81) 90 52 13 49 67 (in Japanese: 90 49 36 01 14)

Saito Challenge 8 Fact Sheet

Name: Minoru Saito
Age: 77 years, 8 months, 10 days old on return
         74 years old on departure
Born: Asakusa, Tokyo, Jan. 7, 1934
Sailing Resume (condensed):
1990-1991 — Participated in Third BOC Challenge. Finished third in class.
1994-1995 — Participated in Fourth BOC Challenge (his second), finishing sixth in class.
1998-1999 — Participated in Fifth BOC Challenge, under new name of "Around Alone." This was his third global race, which at age 65 made him the eldest competitor.
2003 — Published racing autobiography "Kotou" (Fighting Alone)
2004-2005 — Completed first solo non-stop circumnavigation, writing new records for both “oldest non-stop circumnavigator” (at age 71) and “most number of circumnavigations by a single-handed sailor” (7).
2006 — Inducted into Single-handed Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.
2006 — Received the Medal of Honor from City of Newport, RI.
2007 — Received the Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America, the top prize for adventure sailors. (Only Asian to win this award in its 84-year history).
2007/8 — Included in the 2007 and 2009 editions of the Guinness Book of World Records for “Oldest Person to Sail Around the World (Solo and Non-stop)”

Name: Sailing yacht Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III
Built: 1989 in Honolulu Hawaii, cutter-rigged (main, staysail, headsail)
Hull: Steel, full keel
Overall dimensions: 55'6" x 14' 5" x 6.0' (17 x 4.4 x 1.8 m)
Gross tonnage: 43 tons
Displacement: 50,000 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5,300 liters in four tanks
Max hull speed: 8 knots
Reefing: Roller (staysail and headsail), jiffy (main)

Type: Solo
Direction: Westward, "wrong way" against the spin of the Earth
Distance: 28,850 nautical miles, 53,000 kilometers
Start date: October 2, 2008
Finish date: September 17, 2011
Duration: 1,080 days
Ports landed:
Yokohama (Start Oct. 2, 2008)
Sydney, Australia
Hobart, Tasmania
Cape Town, S. Africa
Punta Arenas, Chile
Punta Arenas, Chile (second time)
Valdivia, Chile
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii (second time)
Chichijima Island, Japan
Hachijojima Island, Japan
Yokohama (Finish Sep. 17, 2011)

Finish arrival time & place:
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Saturday, September 17
Minato Mirai Pukari Pier, Yokohama

Structure: International committee based in Japan
Nature: All-volunteer

Main Sponsor: Nicole BMW (

Supporting Sponsors:
American Chamber of Commerce in Japan  (
Albion  (
Barilla Japan  (
ClearPoint Weather  (
David Cooper and Team Hawaii
Fujiki Group  (
GPlusMedia  (
Harken Inc.  (
Henri Lloyd  (
Iridium  (
Japan Radio Corp.  (
Nicole Group  (
Rogers Investment Advisors  (
Sunsail  (
Tokyo American Club  (
Tycoon  (
Wolver Hill Asset Management  (
U.S. Dairy Export Council  (
Yasuda Gakuen Alumni Association  (

Web sites: