Meet the world's oldest sailor who completed his 8th solo journey around the world

Last Updated: Sun, Sep 18, 2011 12:30 hrs

A Japanese man, considered to be the world's oldest sailor, has received a hero's welcome from his homeland after he returned from an epic 1,080-day journey sailing single-handed the 'wrong way' around the world.

Minoru Saito broke a series of records when he sailed his 56-foot sailing boat, Nicole BMW Shuten-dohji III, into Yokohama port after the global journey from west to east.

Saito has survived an earthquake, two tsunamis, giant icebergs, towering waves and five typhoons: these may sound like typical challenges for anyone sailing around the world on their own.

Apart from these menaces, the 77-year-old also had to contend with back pain, a hernia, a knee operation and organising delivery of his heart tablets.

Saito is the only person to have circumnavigated the globe alone eight times.

"I'm very, very happy to be back but it was difficult. It was my longest trip. It went on for months and months and years and years, I had so many problems. But it's great to be back," he told the Telegraph.

"I missed a lot of things, mostly cherry blossoms and Japanese food. But I feel very young in both mind and body and I feel I'm in great shape," he added.

Playing down any retirement thoughts he insisted on going out on another trip.

"I'm already thinking about my next trip. I'd like to head to Greenland and Alaska next. I just need to raise the money and then I'll go off again," he added. (ANI)

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