My family was comprised of 4 members with my wife and 2 daughters, but I lost my wife and my 3 year old daughter by the Great East Japan Earthquake, leaving me and my daughter who was 10 years old at the time behind.
After 2 month of hard restoration work after the earthquake, I was subjected to receive a surgical operation for ruptured shoulder tendon.
I shed tears from frustration and disappointment in the hospital bed.
In the hospital, there was a big rising sun flag filled with many cheering messages which was sent from Hawaii.
My daughter receives numerous cheering messages from all over Japan, and from all over the world.
Having been in such a state where I couldn't express my gratitude, and with my dominant arm immobile,
I was just overwhelmed by those messages I merely kept receiving. Everyday, I kept asking myself
"Isn't there anything I can do to show my gratitude?".
Then I finally realized that the one thing I can do is sailing, and decided to show my appreciation is by crossing the Pacific Ocean in a yacht.
I participated in TRANSPAC YACHT RACE 2013 (biyearly yacht race starting from Los Angeles to Honolulu, 4,000km) in July.
I was able to call my daughter and my father to Honolulu, the goal of this race, through the courtesy mileage received from this promotion.
The couple who were my matchmakers also came to Honolulu, to celebrate our challenge.
I spent the most precious and memorable week together with the crew members and their families.
With JAL's logo, the red crane on the body of our yacht and uniform as a symbol of the warmest cheers from JMB members,
we have completed the full distance, winning 3 prizes; 1) First prize in the classified race which is the first winning case ever for a Japanese team,
2) the fastest record for under 49 feet class and 3) navigation award.
Our challenge to convey our gratitude was broadcasted on TV news in Hawaii. My daughter was so surprised watching it.
Thank you to all JMB members and JAL for all of your support.
From TEN QUARTER
(Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture / Age: 40's / Gender: Male)