Highlights

  • Kenichi Horie sets new record at 83
  • Horie becomes oldest to complete solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific Ocean
  • In 1962, Horie had voyaged from Japan to San Francisco

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83-year-old Japanese man crosses Pacific Ocean solo

Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie at 83 has become the oldest person in the world to complete a solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific Ocean

Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie at 83 just became the oldest person in the world to complete a solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific Ocean — and he says he is still “in the middle of my youth” and not done yet.

Horie returned home as he crossed the Kii Strait off Japan's western coast early Saturday, completing his trans-Pacific solo voyage in 69 days after leaving a yacht harbour in San Francisco in late March.

On Sunday, after spending the night on his 19-foot-long, 990-kilogram Suntory Mermaid III just off the coast, Horie was towed into his home port of Shin Nishinomiya yacht harbour, where he was cheered by local residents and supporters, some holding banners that read: “Welcome back, Mr. Kenichi Horie!”

As he approached the harbour, Horie, standing in his boat, took off his white cap and waved. Then he got off the boat, took off the cap again and bowed deeply on the pier before he was presented with bouquets of roses.

“Thank you for waiting!” said Horie, tanned and with his white hair longer than usual.

He carried a stock of medicine from San Francisco, he said, but only used eye drops and band-aids during his more than two months alone at sea.

He said he “burned all my body and soul” on the journey but says he's ready for more.

“I will keep up my work to be a late bloomer,” he said.

It was the latest record-setting 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.

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