Wave Powered Boat Succeeds

We first looked at the wave-powered boat back in March, before Kenichi Horie set sail (or is that set wave?). Now he has become the first person to cross the Pacific in a wave-powered boat.

Weak waves and opposing ocean currents delayed his arrival, which was originally set for late May.

“When waves were weak, the boat slowed down. That’s the problem to be solved,” the adventurer told reporters Saturday from aboard his catamaran Suntory Mermaid II off the Kii Peninsula in western Japan.

The 9.5 metre (31-foot) boat is equipped with two special fins at the front which can move like a dolphin’s tail each time the vessel rises or falls with the rhythm of the waves.

Horie, who will turn 70 in September, reached his destination in the channel between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Shikoku just before midnight (1500 GMT Friday) after covering some 7,000 kilometres (3,780 nautical miles) from Hawaii without a port call.

“The feeling is yet to sink in,” Horie added, according to the Jiji and Kyodo news agencies. “I want to go home as soon as possible and eat home-cooked meals.”

Horie first made world headlines in 1962 when, at the age of 23, he became the first person to sail solo across the Pacific.