The Ultimate Challenge...

News Flash: HE IS BACK!

shutendohji3Flying the Japanese and U.S. flags, Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III and her beaming skipper eased into Yokohama Harbor in 20-kt winds at 10:25 am, Sep. 17, to be greeted by a throng of supporters, well wishers, and media. His original 7-month voyage had turned into nearly 3 years, at 1,080 days, and his joy on finally returning to his home country was palpable. It was one of those moments that are recorded digitally and forever in memory. And this was definitely Minoru Saito's moment. Read more here.

Final Position Report

April 12, 2009, on Day 192, Saito came within hours of losing Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III off the coast of Chile at Cape Horn, the stormy final resting spot of hundreds of ships over the centuries. A three-day, 400-nm tow followed a dramatic rescue after the then 75-year-old skipper steadfastly refused to allow his yacht to be set adrift and scuttled on orders of the Chilean Navy. An attempt to leave again in April ended when he lost the use of his headsails and engine after rounding Cape Horn for yet a second time.

Nine months later, on Day 486 following repairs in a small Chilean fishing harbor in Punta Arenas, he resumed his westward “wrong way” route that has been attempted by just a small number of solo sailors.

His record of eight solo circumnavigations remained the chief goal of the voyage, along with the “oldest around-alone” world record and “oldest westward solo circumnavigation” when he finished on Sep. 17, 2011. He was 77 years, 8 months, and 10 days old on arrival.

See the Daily Logbook for updates as we track his progress on the rest of his historic voyage.

Click to read Boating New Zealand's article on Saito-san and Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III.

Minoru Saito (center), 78, has been named recipient of the Naomi Uemura Adventure Award for 2011, out of a field of 207 Japanese nominees for the vaunted annual award in honor of the world-renown Japanese alpinist. Click here to read more. >>

USPS Chief Commander Frank Dvorak presents Minoru Saito with the del Cano Award for transoceanic cruising. Kenneth Griffing, past commander of USPS District 13, is at center. Click here to read more. >>


guinessSaito Gains Guinness World Record as Oldest Solo Non-stop Circumnavigator

We received official word from Guinness World Records that Saito-san was included in the 2007 Guinness World Records book. It came as a welcome surprise, since we had never received the notification. This recognition joins the Blue Water Medal and Single-handed Sailing Hall of Fame honors he received in 2006.

Click here for the official Guinness World Records entry

Saito 8 Booths a Big Hit
at Japan Boat Shows

More than 20 volunteers help tell the Saito Challenge 8 story to visitors during annual 4-day marine event in Yokohama... Click for details

Our volunteers did it again... at the 3-day Yokohama “Floating Boat Show”... Click for photos


Minoru Saito's incredible life story is featured in Classic Yacht online magazine, in a two-part series.

Part 1 (begins p38)Part 2 (begins p74)

articleClassic Yacht’s update on Saito’s “repositioning voyage” of Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji.

Current Issue:

See the movie trailer of the US-made TV series These Amazing People featuring Saito: A "7-episode series about the most outrageous, funny, inspirational people around the world." Thanks to TPI Ltd. for this tremendous tribute!



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World’s Top Adventure Sailor, 2006


Minoru Saito wins the Cruising Club of America’s Blue Water Medal, the highest international accolade for adventure sailors. Click to read more.