The “Yanmar Story” told by Peter Gilmour, edited by Stavros.
Yaji Yasuhiro, Peter Gilmour and Sam Gilmour winners in Cannes.

Yanmar have kindly agreed to sponsor the 2022 Gold Cup in Oostend, so to show our appreciation I asked International Yachtsman Peter Gilmour to share how he first became involved with Yanmar and tell us a little more about the company and how Yanmar became involved in our wonder Dragon Class…

Stavros : I first asked Peter what exactly do Yanmar produce?

“Yanmar is a really interesting company, globally it seeks to provide and supply technical solutions. This includes products and services obviously from diesel engines and other drive system applications for Marine pleasure boats, Marine commercial, Agricultural machinery, Forestry energy systems, Construction machinery, Commercial and Industrial engines and Gear components. As the world’s largest OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supplier of Diesel engines for other manufacturers, Yanmar has been a leader in the development of light, compact with both water and air-cooled Diesel engines with a focus on sustainable, environmentally friendly, high quality and reliable engines. The company is extremely mindful of creating a sustainable future. Yanmar was founded in 1912 by the Yamaoka Family and through a great deal of perseverance applied the engineering knowledge of a German scientist Dr Rudolf Diesel. Today Yanmar Group has over 15,000 employees in more than 90 countries operating in a wide variety of industries where a power source solution is required”.

Peter continued “For me an exciting visit to Japan is being invited to the Yanmar Research and Development facility in Maibara near Lake Biwa, to see first hand the incredible ideas of tomorrow taking shape. Then moving on to the amazing production plants around the lake and watching the finely honed discipline of the team members in producing engines that will have no downtime and last a lifetime! Lake Biwa or Biwa-ko a 600sqkm freshwater venue, is also home to the Yanmar Racing Biwako Sunset Yacht Club, maybe a future venue of Dragon Racing? It’s amongst the beautiful and spectacular mountain sides and traditional villages of the Shiga Prefecture.”


Stavros: How did you first connect with Yanmar ?

“In 2005 together with Yaji san we formed Yanmar Racing Team participating on the World Match Racing Tour, where we attended multiple events up until 2012. Age finally caught up with me and at 52 years old realised competing at the top level was no longer an option so I retired from competitive sailing and took up Wagyu Beef Cattle Farming!  Yanmar Group went on to sponsor Oracle Team USA for the 2013 & 2017 America’s Cup and provide high performance support boats. The team continued onto the amazing come-back victory from behind at 1-8 down over New Zealand.”!

“In 2018 Yanmar President Yamaoka san and Yaji san contacted me and asked if I would be interested in joining Yanmar Racing once again in some more ‘Gentlemanly’ pursuits to do some International Dragon Racing and discuss the role of supporting Yanmar at some special events. It was exciting to be able to discuss and embrace the second Centenary of Yanmar’s mission. ‘We strive to provide sustainable solutions for needs which are essential to human life. We focus on the challenges our customers face in food production and harnessing power, thereby enriching people’s lives for all our tomorrows’.  So Yanmar was re-established with Yaji Yasuhiro, Sam Gilmour and myself on YRed JPN 56. We have competed in 11 different countries and enjoyed many of the great new friendships we have made”.

“Yaji san and Sam not only have their sailing responsibilities but also report back on a daily basis on how racing is going to keep Yanmar staff and employees up to date with Yanmar Racing Activities”.

Stavros: Why are Yanmar willing to Support & Sponsor the Dragon Class?

“Supporting selected Dragon events is a natural fit for Yanmar. It not only helps and supports the sailors at the events but it also maintains sailing as a way of promoting the philosophy of the company to a small group of dedicated sailors that may one day or are already in the market for a power or energy solution derived from a Yanmar power unit. Furthermore, Yanmar is keen to seek potential business relationships from the support of Dragon sailing that may evolve into a long term partnership. These maybe a simple as a small pleasure boat application (with electric boost) or as advanced as EV (Electrical Vehicle) solar, wind and hydrogen energy or the future”.

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