By TAKUYA ASAKURA/ Staff Writer
November 24, 2021 at 18:45 JST
An 83-year-old Japanese adventurer intends to set the world record for the oldest person to sail solo nonstop across the Pacific Ocean on a yacht.
Kenichi Horie on Nov. 24 announced his plan to pilot his yacht from San Francisco to Japan aboard a new yacht named Suntory Mermaid III.
It will be his first voyage since he sailed solo on a wave-powered boat from Hawaii to Kii Channel in 2008.
The journey is expected to take about two and a half months from mid-March to early June 2022.
In 1962, Horie, who hails from Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, sailed alone on a small yacht from Nishinomiya Port in Hyogo Prefecture to San Francisco.
As he was traveling without a passport on the trip, he, in effect, “smuggled” himself into the United States, but his feat was highly praised by the American people.
Horie also attracted tremendous attention in Japan.
That same year, he compiled records of his voyage and published the book “Taiheiyo Hitoribocchi” (Alone Across the Pacific).
The book became a best-seller and was made into a film starring Yujiro Ishihara the next year.
Between 1973 and 1974, he completed a nonstop westbound solo voyage around the world.
In 2005, he completed the same trek sailing east when he was 66 years old.
Kenichi Horie’s main voyages:
1962--Voyage aboard Mermaid yacht (Nishinomiya-San Francisco)
1973 to 1974--Nonstop solo westward voyage around the world
1978 to 1982--North-south voyage around the world
1985--Voyage on a solar-powered boat (Hawaii-Chichijima island)
1992 to 1993--Voyage on a paddle boat (Hawaii-Okinawa)
1996--Voyage on Malt’s Mermaid, a solar-powered boat made from recycled aluminum cans (Ecuador-Tokyo)
1999--Voyage on Malt’s Mermaid II yacht made from recycled draft beer barrels (San Francisco-Akashi Kaikyo Ohashi bridge)
2002--Voyage on Malt’s Mermaid III yacht made from recycled whiskey barrels (Nishinomiya-San Francisco)
2004 to 2005--Nonstop solo eastward voyage around the world on Suntory Mermaid yacht
2008--Voyage on wave-powered Suntory Mermaid II boat (Hawaii-Kii Channel)
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