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Kenichi Horie Completes Solo Pacific Crossing

Kenichi Horie has become the oldest person to sail solo across the Pacific. “At 2:39 a.m. [JST] on June 4, 2022, we reached the Kii Suido off the coast of Cape Hinomisaki in Wakayama Prefecture, which was the goal,” he wrote in his log. “I’m tired.” Kenichi then waited for the sunrise, at which time Suntory Mermaid III would be towed to his home port, Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor.

Kenichi Horie docking in Japan
After more than 4,500 nm and 70 days at sea, the singlehanding sailor waves his hat, signifying the end of his voyage.
© 2022 Suntory Mermaid

Right to the end the weather continued to toy with the solo sailor, and as the month of May became June, Kenichi’s focus was on crossing one of the globe’s major currents, the Kuroshio Current — also known as the Japan, or Black Current (“Kuro” meaning black) — one of the ocean’s major currents. “The wind direction is not stable. I would like to bring the yacht to around 134 degrees east longitude and break through the Kuroshio Current, but it does not proceed slowly.” Three days later he had reached the other side of the current, exhausted and relieved.

“Don’t let your dreams just stay as dreams. Have a goal and work towards achieving this and a beautiful life awaits,” Kenichi told a CNN reporter over satellite phone as he made the final leg of his voyage.

Kenichi has attributed much of his success to the support he received throughout the crossing. “The second half of this voyage, especially from Minami-Tori-shima to Japan, was a very difficult voyage. I think it was completed because of the support and encouragement of my amateur radio friends, those who read the logbook, and many others.”

Kenichi Horie in crowd
Kenichi is welcomed by scores of fans, well-wishers and supporters.
© 2022 Suntory Mermaid

In his final log entry Kenichi wrote, “70 days after leaving the San Francisco Yacht Club, which [I] arrived [at] 60 years ago. I was able to return safely without any major deviation from the original plan.

“Now, I am really happy while returning to my home port, Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor, and watching my boat, Mermaid III. It was good to try. I’m glad I did my best. I feel fine in Japan. Thank you very much.”

Kenichi Horie at press conference
Kenichi Horie was all smiles and grace as he addressed the press on the afternoon of his arrival in Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor.
© 2022 Suntory Mermaid

We join the world in congratulating Kenichi Horie on his successful Pacific crossing back to his home country, where his journey began 60 years earlier.

9 Comments

  1. Maggie McCann 6 months ago

    Congratulations to Kenji! I am in awe of your skill and fortitude in accomplishing this epic journey! 👏👏👏👏

  2. Jim Willis 6 months ago

    Konichi wa Horie-san. Omedetō gozaimasu. Sonohi no ōku no ōku no shiawasena ritān!

  3. Rebecca Harvletti 6 months ago

    Congrats. I wonder if this Horie (and there are a lot!)is any relation to a Horie that worked at Tachikawa AB in late 50s\early 60s. The Mr Horie I knew worked in Procurement with my dad, Edwin Allison. He was a frequent guest in our home in Japan. Very, very interesting past.
    He visited us years later here in Calif. very nice gentleman. It is sometimes, a small world!!!

  4. Jules 6 months ago

    How OLD is he?

    • John Arndt 6 months ago

      83 years young!

  5. Gerald Sobel 6 months ago

    As a teenager I would marvel at your little plywood trans-Pacific boat in the Maritime Museum near the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory. You were famous even then, when I saw it in the early 1960’s.

  6. Ted Crocker 6 months ago

    Kenichi Horie you make life a little better. Since learning about your first journey while visiting San Francisco’s Maritime Museum in 1990, I have been a big admirer. It was my privilege to be able to see you sail out of the Golden Gate on March 26, 2022. In fact, I have framed in my office the Mercury News photo from that day of you, me, and my good friend sailing our three boats together under the GG Bridge. And now, I’m so happy to read of your success. Amazing! Well done!

  7. Memo Gidley 6 months ago

    What a great inspiration and journey from this man!! Thank you for this Kenichi Horie! And what a great quote. “Don’t let your dreams just stay as dreams. Have a goal and work towards achieving this and a beautiful life awaits,” Kenichi told a CNN reporter.

  8. Lee 6 months ago

    When asked what he was going to do, after arriving, He said he wanted to take a bath ! After 70d at sea, who wants to see water??🤣

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