SIGHTINGS voyage of inspiration The Voyage of Inspiration is the brainchild of longtime blind sailor Hiro Iwamoto, representing the culmination of his 17 years of sailing, and an irresistible challenge. The Voyage will take Hiro and newbie sailor Doug Smith on a 60-day passage from San Diego to Fukushima, Japan. As of this writing, they'd hoped to depart on February 24 aboard Dream Weaver, an Island Packet 40. Hiro learned to sail in 2002 with a blind sailing group in Japan. He went on to compete in the 2006 Blind Sailing World Championship Regatta in Newport, Rhode Island, the Newport to Ensenada Race, and the San Diego to Ensenada Race, just to name a few. In 2013, Hiro made an ill-fated first attempt at crossing the Pacific when a 50-ft blue whale attacked his boat 600 miles from Japan — he was rammed continued on outside column of next sightings page
Hiro Iwamoto, foreground, and Doug train for their Voyage of Inspiration.
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• March, 2019
offshore marathon notable factor that sets these venerable ocean races apart. On the long haul to French Polynesia, navigators will have to deal with an often-erratic wild card called the equatorial doldrums (or ITCZ) as they cross from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere. Renowned offshore navigator John Jourdane explains what Tahiti racers can expect on the long romp from 33°N to 17°S: "After the start, and rounding West End, you put up the spinnaker, and run for several days southwest past Mexico. Then
The March 2019 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.