1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Kenichi Horie waves to the camera from his boat
Horie already crossed the Pacific in a sail boat in the early 1960s, when he was 23Image: Ken Satomi/The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP/picture alliance

Japanese 83-year-old crosses Pacific on a sailboat

June 4, 2022

Japanese yachtsman Kenichi Horie has become the oldest person to sail across the Pacific solo and non-stop, media say. The 83-year-old is already renowned for his seafaring feats.


The 83-year-old Japanese ocean adventurer Kenichi Horie has sailed successfully from San Francisco in the United States to Japan on a solo, non-stop voyage, apparently becoming the oldest person ever to achieve the Pacific crossing in this way.

His two-month-long trip in his 6-meter (20-foot) yacht Suntory Mermaid III ended when he arrived in the Kii Strait off western Japan early on Saturday morning. He covered some 8,500 kilometers (5,282 miles) during the voyage.

Kenichi Horie in his boat Suntory Mermaid III
Horie reported feeling exhausted shortly before his arrivalImage: kyodo/dpa/picture alliance

A life of ocean adventure

Horie made the crossing in the other direction in 1962, when he was 23, setting a record as the first and youngest person in the world to sail alone across what is the largest and deepest ocean on Earth.

That trip brought him some notoriety, as he did the crossing without a passport, meaning that he entered the US illegally. 

In April, while still at sea, he blogged that during his 1962 trip, he "was constantly anxious" and worried that he would be caught.

"But this time it's different, I was sent off by many people and have their support through tracking systems and wireless radio. I couldn't be more grateful," he said of his trip this year.

 Horie's boat off Wakayama Prefecture
Horie said he had to fight the sea current for the last three days of his journeyImage: Takumi Harada/The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP/picture alliance

Despite the aid, he wrote on Friday that he was exhausted after fighting an adverse current for three days.

Horie is also known for sailing around the world solo in 1974 and traveling longitudinally around the world between 1978 and 1982.

The latest expedition was the first he had undertaken since 2008, when he sailed from Honolulu to the Kii Strait on a wave-powered 31-foot boat.

tj/dj (AFP, dpa)

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

UN Security Council meeting at UN headquarters in New York

Ukraine updates: Russia takes UN Security Council presidency

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage