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Solo Kayaker Prepares for Second Pacific Crossing Attempt

Solo kayaker Cyril Derreumaux is preparing for a second attempt at paddling from San Francisco to Honolulu. His first attempt, which saw him leave the Bay on May 31, 2021, was aborted five days later, approximately 70 miles west of Santa Cruz, due to his kayak’s sustaining significant damage in heavy seas.

Now, one year later, Derreumaux is ready to start again, this time with a list of adjustments to his kayak including modifications to the sea anchor system and its lines, the rudder and the daggerboard well; a manual bilge pump inside the cockpit; the addition of custom side panels to reduce water ingress into the cockpit; installation of a satellite communication system with an external antenna (Iridium GO!) enabling him to make phone calls and emails from inside the cabin; and specific training in high-wind situations off the coast of Santa Cruz, California.

The adventurer, entrepreneur, and father of two will paddle 2,400 nautical miles over 60 to 70 days, solo and unsupported.

Kayak Sf to Hawaii
The self-righting kayak is a cabin-style, 23-ft ocean kayak, with the fully sealable cabin being considered a “survival pod.”
© 2022 Chris Constantine

Derreumaux has an impressive résumé of canoeing, outrigger paddling and ocean rowing, in both endurance and race events. In summer 2016, he successfully rowed across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii in an expedition of just under 40 days, earning him and his teammates a Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing.

It was an early start when Derreumaux set off on his first crossing attempt, one year ago.
© 2022 Teresa O'Brien

The solo paddle across the Pacific will require extreme physical and mental strength, and the adventurer has been preparing with gym workouts, kayaking, cycling, zazen meditation, visualization and in-situation trials.

You can follow Derreumaux on his website as he paddles from San Francisco to Hawaii aboard his custom-built kayak, Valentine.

3 Comments

  1. James 6 months ago

    Can he pay for his own rescue this go around?

  2. Joseph DiMatteo 6 months ago

    What James said. I am all in on guys like this pushing the envelope but I hope he has a private rescue contingency plan.

  3. Memo Gidley 6 months ago

    Go Cyril!!! I always love a great adventure…and this is one of those!!! Good paddling and good luck!

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Sailors' Stories
Liz is an environmental activist and the author of "Swell: A Sailing Surfer’s Voyage of Awakening," recounting her decade-long journey of sailing the world and living aboard her Cal 40, 'Swell.'