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At Age 83, Japan’s “Most Famous Yachtsman” Goes for Another Record


In 1962, Kenichi Horie sailed from Osaka, Japan, to San Francisco to become the first solo sailor to cross the Pacific non-stop (Joshua Slocum had made stops). It took 94 days and when he arrived in his plywood 19-footer, he was arrested because he had no passport, no money and spoke no English to explain why he’d done it.

In the 1970s and 80s he circumnavigated the world a couple of times and became known as Japan's "Most Famous Yachtsman."

Since then, he’s sailed across the Pacific on a boat made out of 528 beer kegs, sailed one with a hull made out of whiskey barrels and also crossed on wave power, solar power and pedal power. 

Now he’s crossing again, this time from San Francisco to Japan on a custom-built, 19-foot aluminum sailboat to become the oldest person to sail solo across the Pacific. Horie’s Suntory Mermaid III has no engine, GPS plotter or radar, and he navigates with nautical charts and a mobile application. He left on March 26 and expects to arrive in Japan in June.

You can read more about his trip on The Guardian’s website and more about the environmentally-conscious sailor on Wikipedia.



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