Horie’s yacht leaves for U.S. for Trans-Pacific solo voyage

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kenichi Horie stands in front of his yacht in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture on Jan.24.

NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo (Jiji Press) — Japanese sea adventurer Kenichi Horie’s sailboat left for San Francisco on Monday, ahead of the 83-year-old’s planned nonstop solo voyage across the Pacific from there.

Horie, who lives in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, aims to become the oldest person to make a nonstop solo crossing of the Pacific on a sailboat.

On the day, his sailboat, which is made of aluminum and is about 6 meters in length, was transported from a yacht harbor in Nishinomiya to Kobe Port.

The sailboat will be loaded onto a container vessel and shipped to San Francisco, with the arrival expected for mid-March.

Horie is scheduled to take a flight to San Francisco on March 15 from Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture.

After loading his sailboat with provisions and other items, he is scheduled to start sailing on March 26.

The voyage from San Francisco to Nishinomiya is expected to take about 2½ months.

In 1962, Horie completed the world’s first successful nonstop solo voyage across the Pacific on a small sailboat.

In the voyage, Horie crossed the Pacific in the opposite direction, from Nishinomiya to San Francisco.

After seeing his vessel depart, Horie said, “Of all yachts I’ve ever used, that one is best.”

“All I’m thinking about is crossing the finish line,” Horie said.