• Kyodo


Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie set sail Friday from Hyogo Prefecture on a nonstop solo voyage around the world in a bid to repeat a feat he achieved in 1974.

Horie, 66, plans to sail the world eastbound this time, whereas the 1974 voyage was westbound. He has called his attempt this time “unfinished business,” as he had to give up an eastbound circumnavigation in 1972 when he dismasted.

After leaving the Shin-Nishinomiya yacht harbor in Nishinomiya, the yachtsman plans to sail southward across the Pacific aboard his 4.7-ton sloop Suntory Mermaid and round Cape Horn in January.

Horie hopes to pass the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in February and cross the Southern Ocean and stay below Australia before returning to Nishinomiya around May 20.

During his voyage, Horie will exchange e-mail via satellite with Japanese elementary school pupils, including those in Nishinomiya, Nara and Mie Prefecture’s Yokkaichi.

Horie’s successful solo trip westward in 1974 was the first by a Japanese and the world’s fourth.

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