At 83, Japanese becomes oldest to sail solo across Pacific

By Mari Yamaguchi | Associated Press

TOKYO — An 83-year-old Japanese adventurer returned home Saturday after successfully completing his solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific, becoming the oldest person to reach the milestone.

Kenichi Horie arrived in the Kii Strait off Japan’s western coast, completing his trans-Pacific voyage in 69 days after leaving a yacht harbor in San Francisco in March.

It was the latest achievement for the octogenarian adventurer, who in 1962 became the first person in the world to successfully complete a solo nonstop voyage across the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco.

Sixty years later, he traveled the opposite route.

“I just crossed the finish line. I’m tired,” he wrote in his blog his after reaching Japan in the early hours of Saturday.

He said that his sailing boat, Suntory Mermaid III, was to be toed after the sunrise for an expected arrival at his home port of Shin Nishinomiya yacht harbor in the evening. Local media said a welcome ceremony will be held Sunday.

His achievement came after three days of struggle with the pushback from a strong tide. He wrote in his blog Friday that he succeeded but was exhausted and took a nap after feeling assured that his yacht was now on the right track to the finish line.

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