Shiraishi’s love of the high seas and single-handed racing was nurtured in his home town.
It became a full-blown love affair after meeting mentor Yukoh Tada, the pioneering Japanese yachtsman who committed suicide in 1991.
Each craft sailed by Shiraishi bears the name ‘Spirit of Yukoh’.
“I got to know the Vendee Globe thanks to my master, Yukoh Tada.
“I came to see the start of the race three times and I said to myself that one day I will do this race,” Shiraishi told AFP.
His first attempt in 2016, when he was the first Asian to take part in the race, ended in disappointment with a demasting on his 10-year-old vessel in the Indian Ocean.
“It was a last-minute project, even getting to the start line was a great victory,” he added.
“Being Japanese and trying to do the Vendee Globe is extremely difficult – it’s a like a Frenchman leaving for Japan to become a sumo wrestler.