2011 baien cup
Pray for Japan

That was the message sent out after the Tsunami hit earlier this year on the East coast of Japan. We all remember how terrible it was to watch the news and see the disaster unfold and many thoughts went to my friends in that moment and the following weeks. Story: Jesper Vesterstrom

Some Japanese sailors made up ‘Pray for Japan’ stickers which some of us have been racing with all year, to show respect for what happened. I was happy to return to Japan this year to see my friends – and was asked many times by people if I was ever scared to return. The answer was a resounding no. I happily accepted the invitation and took-off!

I guess this is one of the “risk” calculations one does when travelling around. Surely there are places in the world I would never set my foot – but that’s probably more to do with civil wars or other dangers. Natural disasters are something that can hit anywhere, at any given moment. And to fear them would just limit the life that I love living.

After a crazy year of travelling and just arriving in Sydney from Cuba, my sails where once again set for Tokyo. Japan is always a place I really look forward to visit to represent my sponsors. It’s so different from anywhere else in this world, and the people there are super friendly.

Touching-down in Tokyo on a very empty Boing 747, with only 60 people aboard due to a strike earlier in the week that’d forced the rest to change carriers, I arrived fresh from a good rest with a whole row to myself. I travelled light, with just a 12m sail and mast, as the rest was supplied by the local distributor Manoeuvreline.  I wish travelling would be that easy every time. My host was Mr Oishi who took me to Haneda for my connecting flight to Oita on Kyoto Island.

Pic: Mr Satomura