After tsunami loss, sailor wins yachting race to overcome grief - SailNet Community

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  • 2 Post By shadowraiths
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Old 08-23-2013
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After tsunami loss, sailor wins yachting race to overcome grief

SHIOGAMA, Miyagi Prefecture--A man, who lost his wife and second daughter in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and went on to become Japan’s first sailor to win in the Transpac Honolulu Yacht Race last month, was reunited with his crew on Aug. 22 here.


On March 11, 2011, Takahashi’s 40-year-old wife and 3-year-old second daughter had gone to the wife’s hometown when they went missing in the disaster.

After the tsunami, he searched desperately for his family members and found their bodies in a car 10 days later. Wanting to somehow comfort them, he said all he could do was ask the police to wash them in hot water.

He later found his yacht with a hole in it and a broken engine, but filled with memories of his beloved family.

Although Takahashi survived the huge magnitude of the earthquake and tsunami, he was hospitalized after he injured his shoulders while removing rubble. Feeling miserable and helpless for not being able to do anything in his condition, he cried endlessly, he said.


When he started repairing his yacht and preparing for the race, experienced sailors and local people who lost their homes in the tsunami joined him.

His team started the race from Los Angeles on July 8. The yacht was swallowed up by stormy weather, and strong winds broke a sail.

According to Takahashi, a crew member attached a streamer to his body, and said in a humorous vein, “Feel the wind in your body.” Takahashi said it made him realize he should laugh at any trouble and go forward.

Twelve days after departure, he finished first in his division.
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Old 08-23-2013
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Re: After tsunami loss, sailor wins yachting race to overcome grief

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