At 83, Japanese becomes oldest to sail solo across Pacific

Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. voyage / ˈvɔɪ ɪdʒ / (n.) – a long trip going to a faraway place by ship or any kind of water transportation

    The researcher talked in a vlog about her first voyage across the Pacific.

  2. octogenarian / ˌɒk tə dʒəˈnɛər i ən / (n.) – a person whose age is between 80 to 89 years old

    Most people living in the facility for the aged are octogenarians.

  3. pushback / ˈpʊʃˌbæk / (n.) – a strong action that causes an object to move backward

    The sailors worked hard to reach the port despite the pushback from the strong tide.

  4. exhausted / ɪgˈzɔs tɪd / (adj.) – feeling very tired

    By the end of the day, the students were all exhausted from their school trip.

  5. on the right track / ɑn ðə raɪt træk / (idiom) – used to say that someone/something is doing something correctly, which will likely lead to success

    I was afraid of making a big decision, but my parents said I was on the right track.


Read the text below.

An 83-year-old Japanese adventurer returned home June 4 after successfully completing his solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific, becoming the oldest person to reach the milestone.

Kenichi Horie arrived in the Kii Strait off Japan’s western coast, completing his trans-Pacific voyage in 69 days after leaving a yacht harbor in San Francisco in March.

It was the latest achievement for the octogenarian adventurer, who in 1962 became the first person in the world to successfully complete a solo nonstop voyage across the Pacific from Japan to San Francisco.

Sixty years later, he traveled the opposite route.

“I just crossed the finish line. I’m tired,” he wrote in his blog after reaching Japan in the early hours of June 3.

He said that his sailing boat, Suntory Mermaid III, was to be towed after the sunrise for an expected arrival at his home port of Shin Nishinomiya yacht harbor in the evening. Local media said a welcome ceremony was held June 5.

His achievement came after three days of struggle with the pushback from a strong tide. He wrote in his blog that he succeeded but was exhausted and took a nap after feeling assured that his yacht was on the right track to the finish line.

Horie’s return to Japan makes him the world’s oldest person to complete a solo, nonstop crossing of the Pacific, according to his sponsors.

Horie has also achieved a number of other long-distance solo voyages, including sailing around the world in 1974. His latest expedition was the first since his 2008 solo nonstop voyage on a wave-powered boat from Hawaii to the Kii Strait.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Why do you think Horie still went on a solo voyage despite being an octogenarian and having done it before? Discuss.
  • Horie has achieved a number of other long-distance solo voyages, including one in 1974. If you knew him personally, would you encourage him to go on another solo voyage in his old age? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • If you were to go on an adventure, would you prefer to do it alone or with a group of people? Why? What kind of adventure would you be confident to do solo? Discuss.
  • Do you think traveling around the world is an important experience? Why or why not? Discuss.
Category : Lifestyle/Entertainment