The original record was set by legendary French sailor Eric Tabarly in 1969 in a single-handed Transpacific race organized by the Slocum Society and the Nippon Ocean Racing Club. Tabarly’s boat, Pen Duick V, was innovative and ahead of its time: a 35’ lightweight planing monohull with water ballast and a deep keel. He won the race in 39 days 15 hours, 44 minutes, a full 10 days over his nearest competitor. Tabarly’s record stood until 1992, when local San Francisco Bay Area sailor Peter Hogg broke it in his 40’ trimaran, Aotea, in 34 days 6 hours, which is still the record to beat.
There is no longer an organized Transpacific race to Japan, so I set up my own record attempt with an official timekeeper, (designated by the World Sailing Speed Council that certifies world records) on the Golden Gate Bridge to take the starting time, and another time-keeper at the finish line in Misake, Japan, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay.