Team Leglus was conceived and created by Mr. Tomikura who had his own lifelong dream of challenging the Transpacific yacht race from Japan.
Mr. Tomikura's dream came one step closer to a reality when the yacht club has decided to purchase an Ohashi 52 which already participated to the race three times under the a different ownership. In order to give his mission the best chance of succeeding, he opted not be a part of the sailing team. He decided to look for a new skipper and crew members, the best to be found, not only from his yacht club but also from general public, and announced his challenge in Kazi, a well-known sailing magazine in Japan.
Initially, the yacht club received 21 applicants. This number was winnowed down to 15. These include a foreign national who is working in Japan and a female member. All were selected in the beginning of 2008 for training. As of this February, the final 9 members of the team have been selected.
As to the boat itself, Leglus, the Ohashi 52 was originally designed for a double-handed Osaka-Melbourne race, and achieved finishes in 1987, 1991, as well as 4th in 1995. With the designer's strong support and our own trial and error, the Leglus has been adapted for this year's transpacific yacht race with new sails and new rigging.
Regarding, the logistics of managing the race in the US, Mr. Norio Sugano, who is a long time sailor in the Bay Area and who also participated in the Pacific cup in 1996 as the captain of his boat, Seeker (Tatoosh 51), has agreed to offer his support. Mr. Tomikura had visited him and convinced him of his strong intentions in this year's race.
The team is very excited and motivated about not only completing the race but also participating all the aspects, including practices, bringing the boat all the way from Japan to California, and meeting the race officials and fellow racers. With this opportunity, we hope that we fulfill Mr. Tomikura's dream as well as or own.
Mr. Tomikura plans to bring LEGLUS supporters to Honolulu around the predicted finishdate, then plans to sail with them around Oahu island.
His dream will continue after the Transpac race. He plans to bring LEGLUS to San Francisco after the TP Race finish then keep it in SF bay for the next 5 years. During those 5 years, LEGLUS will challenge the Pacific Cup, Transpac and many yacht races in SF bay.
Written by Hiro Minami, a member of the final crew for the race on Leglus and a regular crew member on Seeker