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82-year-old sailor begins 29-day circumnavigation of Taiwan

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Chan Cheng-feng poses with a sailboat before the start of his challenge on Saturday. Photo courtesy of a private contributor

Kaohsiung, Aug. 13 (CNA) An 82-year-old man set off from Sizihwan Bay in Kaohsiung Saturday at the start of an attempt to circumnavigate Taiwan in a sailing dingy over 29 days.

Chan Cheng-feng (詹正峰), vice president of the Chinese Taipei Sailing Association, said making the trip had been a dream of his for the past 40 years.

Chan, who also heads the sailing committee at the Kaohsiung Municipal Athletics Federation, has been involved in sailboats ever since leaving the Marine Corps. in 1976 and has since been working to promote the sport in Taiwan.

According to Chan, the biggest challenge has been promoting the sport so that more people can know where and how to avoid danger along the way when they come across problems at sea.

The octogenarian sailor, meanwhile, said it was exciting to "still have fun at this type of fun" despite his old age.

"As long as you prepare enough water, food, sunscreen, and wear a life jacket, the challenge can be easily accomplished," he said.

Sailing coach Huang Kuo-hung (黃國鴻), who helped plan the challenge, said Chan was in good company as there will be two other sailors with him on this trip, and that Coast Guard personnel along the way will also watch over his safety.

Chan's challenge will take him counter-clockwise around the island. and he is expected to complete the round-trip tour on Sept. 10.

He reached Dapeng Bay in Pingtung County at around 3 p.m. Saturday.

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