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Ryan Finn - New York to San Francisco Solo Sailing Record '2 Oceans 1 Rock'

by Mathieu Dumont 19 Apr 22:20 BST 21 April 2022

After 92 days at sea, Ryan Finn is expected to arrive in San Francisco on April 20th, 2022 at Richmond Yacht Club on his 36' Proa design sailboat.

He will complete his attempt to create the first-ever record for a non-stop singlehanded sail from New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn on the smallest boat to ever attempt this route. He named his attempt '2 Oceans - 1 Rock'.

43 years old Ryan Finn departed Miramar Yacht Club in Brooklyn on January 19th, 2022. Finn covered more than 14,000 nautical miles heading south through Bermuda, onto Brazil, and around Cape Horn in Chile; some of the most treacherous sailing terrains in the world, before passing the Clipperton Islands on his way up to San Francisco. He faced many challenges requiring stops for repairs and spare parts in Brazil and Patagonia that stop him for 2 weeks, Finn finally managed to bring the 36' Proa, Jzerro around Cape Horn to San Francisco in one piece.

He was aware of the perils that await him as he navigated remote parts of the globe, he battled physical exhaustion and mental fatigue, as well as extreme weather conditions including those expected around the legendary hazards of a Cape Horn transit. Finn's passage from Cape Horn to the equator was 19.5 days, half a day faster than Flying Cloud and four days faster than Thursday's Child when they broke Flying Cloud's long-standing record.

Ryan sailed a Russel Brown designed and built 36-foot Proa Jzerro. The design of the boat is modelled on the ancient technology used by Pacific Islanders, and it is known for its efficiency, speed, and reliability. A Proa is the oldest type of multihull and also the one least embraced by the mainstream western sailing community. Finn wanted to prove the viability of this type of sailing vessel for ocean sailing records.

At 36' and 3,200 lbs. Jzerro is the smallest and lightest boat to complete the NY to SF course singlehanded, and the fastest sailboat under 40' to complete the voyage. In completing this voyage, he proved both his and Jzerro's ability to complete what has been the most grueling voyage of their lives. In doing so, he'd like to seek sponsorship to promote another project with a larger vessel, this time completing the NY to SF course, singlehanded, nonstop and in record time.

"I came up with the idea of a non-stop solo passage from New York to San Francisco on a small Proa to prove the concept of such a boat for a long, solo record breaking. The bigger project being a solo non-stop circumnavigation from East to West," said Ryan Finn. "I don't think there's an existing multihull that could survive the non-stop westbound record, but I think a Proa could. Well, researching the route for this trip, I became obsessed and really haven't thought about anything else since."

"Ryan's choice of boat for his record attempt is remarkable. It's the same at both ends, has one outrigger, and is apparently very fast. Jzerro is a proa. Proas trade side-to-side symmetry for end-to-end symmetry. The boat only needs one outrigger but tacking involves changing ends (the bow becomes the stern). There is a windward and leeward side, but no port and starboard side on a proa.

Proas are as different as different can possibly be, but Ryan has made history in one. Ryan's Jzerro is tiny and lightly built, yet he has proven that proas have the potential to be very fast and seaworthy. Ryan's tenacity aside, many people are in awe of Jzerro's performance," said Russell Brown.

A devoted sailor, Ryan Ryan has sailed more than 100,000 nautical miles. He has been actively singlehanded sailing since his participation in the 2004 Singlehanded Transpac, from San Francisco to Kuai. Since then, he has participated in multiple long-distance solo and shorthanded events, including the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabre, 2005/2007 Bermuda 1-2, Mini 650 events in Europe and the 2011 Atlantic Cup.

In 2016 he singlehanded Jzerro from San Francisco to New Orleans, and now has the longest non-stop solo voyage on a proa from Tierra del Fuego to his current location, as he approaches San Francisco. Over the years Ryan has also worked for other professional singlehanded skippers and their preparation teams, for events such as the Route du Rhum and Transat Jacques Vabre. He is happiest as a delivery captain, and when he's not preparing Jzerro for great voyages and delivering yachts, spends time with his partner Jennifer trying to find vacations that allow them to bring their cat, Tucci.

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