Horie 'still feels young' after solo Pacific crossing at 83

Yachtsman Horie Kenichi says he is in the prime of his youth after becoming the world's oldest person to make a solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific at the age of 83.

Horie spoke on Sunday at a ceremony to welcome him back at a yacht harbor in the western Japanese city of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

He left San Francisco in late March and reached the goal line set in the waters south of the prefecture early on Saturday morning after sailing for 69 days.

Horie thanked the supporters who had gathered to congratulate him and give him flowers.

The octogenarian said he used up all his mental and physical energy during the solo voyage, but he feels he is still in the prime of his youth.

He said he will continue to work hard with the aim of having his talents mature at an advanced age.

Horie first made the headlines 60 years ago, when he sailed from Japan to San Francisco. He was the first person to cross the Pacific alone by yacht with no port calls.

A 62-year-old participant at the ceremony said he handed Horie a bunch of flowers 60 years ago. He said he was encouraged by Horie's challenging spirit as he completed the adventure at 83 by risking his life.

Horie told reporters that he was pleased to have been allowed to give it a try. He said he will continue to work hard as a "lifelong challenger."