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Solo Sailor Ryan Finn Rounds Cape Horn

In January, when we last reported on singlehanded sailor Ryan Finn and Jzerro’s second attempt to sail from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn, they were mid-Atlantic heading south. A lot has happened since then, so we felt an update was in order.

Jzerro proa
Ryan Finn’s steed, the proa Jzerro.
© 2022 Courtesy Ryan Finn

Jzerro is a Russell Brown-designed and built 35-ft proa. Ryan is an accomplished sailor from New Orleans. His journey south was going well except for light headwinds. All was looking good until his watermaker failed. “I stopped working on the watermaker last night for the first time really, in three days. It is no longer working, full stop,” remarked Ryan in February. The next choice was to find a safe harbor and fix it.

Jzerro ended up in Mar del Plata, Argentina, with friends and family helping get parts and effecting repairs before Finn headed off again. “Watermaker and wind instruments back online. I’m leaving tomorrow,” was his quick post.

Sailing around the Horn ‘backward’ is a game of luck, skill and controlling fears. “I’ve been silent due to nerves. I’ve been plagued by light wind down here. At the moment I’m making 9.5 knots in 5.5 kts of wind.” The wind was forecast to build, so Finn sought shelter in a small bay at the tip of Argentina called Puerto Español. “I sailed in here in 20-35 knots from the S and anchored within the bay. Hectic. The boat held well in gusts up to 45 knots all night, and I slept like I’ve never slept on this boat before.”

Ryan Finn
A chilly-looking selfie from Ryan Finn.
© 2022 Ryan Finn

Three days later, with a weather window opening up, they were off again, this time to go around the Horn. And on March 16 they made it. “I sailed past Cape Horn in the early a.m. hours today,” Finn wrote on Wednesday. “All I could see were the two lighthouses.

“It’s been very tricky getting this far. It promises to be as hard or harder for at least the next three days. I’m already tired. However, I have to remind myself that this is a privilege and I feel blessed to be where I am. I’d like to think that I’m sneaking out of here, but for sure the great Cape is watching my progress. You can feel it down here.”

Jzerro's track
In this screenshot taken this morning, Jzerro’s track shows her climbing the eastern South Pacific, bound — eventually — for San Francisco.
© 2022 Courtesy Ryan Finn

Ryan and Jzerro are now heading north along the Chilean coast, racing to avoid the next big storm. Next stop San Francisco.

Follow along on the tracker: and on Facebook:


  1. Doug Hansen 2 years ago

    Interestingly appropriate last name for a singlehander. Also, his home town of New Orleans has hosted many major Finn regattas over the years. Go, Ryan. Godspeed, youngster!!! Also Voyage by Sterling Hayden is a great novel about The Gold Route in the day.

  2. Tim Mann 2 years ago

    Our entire family is praying for your swift and safe arrival at the Golden Gate! Stay warm, stay tied to the boat, and have as much fun as you can on the trip!

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