Sheepshead Bay

Miramar will host Ryan Finn this January as he prepares for a record-breaking voyage, sailing around Cape Horn nonstop to San Francisco

January 8, 2021 Richard Lubell
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Editor’s Note: Richard Lubell is editor of the newsletter of the Miramar Yacht Club in Sheepshead Bay. The following article described the impending visit by world-class sailor Ryan Finn, as he prepares for a solo sail around Cape Horn to San Francisco. Next week the Eagle will feature an interview and photo spread on Finn’s Brooklyn visit, and his plans to update Brooklynites on the legs of his journey.

Ryan Finn. Photo: John McCarten


The 42-year-old Finn has been preparing this voyage for years from his hometown of New Orleans. Ryan is an experienced solo sailor, having covered over 100,000 nautical miles, including three Trans-Atlantic and five Trans-Pacific crossings. He completed these expeditions using crafts ranging from 21 ft. to 60 ft. ocean-going vessels. But, for this passage, he will be sailing a Russell Brown designed and built 36 ft. Proa Jzerro.

The Proa is an outrigged sailing canoe that has been used by Pacific Islanders for centuries. It is known for its efficiency, speed, and durability. This design has already proven its reliability on a sail from the west coast to New Zealand and back.

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Finn expects to be at Miramar by the New Year and complete the necessary mechanical upgrades and adjustments before departing in January. He is hoping to establish a world record for a non-stop singlehanded sail, hoping to cover the 14,000 nautical miles between New York and San Francisco in 60 days. The passage will take Finn around the most treacherous sailing terrain in the world: Cape Horn off the Chile coast. He will also be traveling against the prevailing winds when rounding South America.

The journey is expected to be physically exhausting, as Finn battles mental fatigue and the extreme weather conditions. In the average 24-hour day, he expects to be covering 300 miles, but this is based on favorable winds.

Throughout the expedition, Finn’s vessel will be rigged with multiple Insta360 cameras making it possible to capture him as he faces these most challenging conditions. The Montreal-based company Sailor Productions will capture the footage and produce a 60-minute documentary film.

If you are down at Miramar in early January, keep an eye out for Ryan as he prepares for this great endeavor, and wish him well if you get a chance to chat with him.

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