Ikuo Tateo, Septuagenarian, Hopes to Row from Newport Beach to Japan, Has Sailed Around World Before

Don't let his date of birth trick you, Ikuo Tateo is no geezer.

Last week the 70-year-old man departed from Newport Harbor on a rowboat en route of his homeland--Japan.

As reported in a story for the Log by Taylor Hill, Tateo is no stranger to marine adventures. At 59, he earned himself a couple of world records for rowing sailing around the world--a feat that took him 288 days. He held the record for taking the smallest boat, a 20-footer, and for being the oldest person to finish the trek.

This time he's taking a 30-foot boat, the article says, which he customized to use each nook and cranny for storage.

Ikuo Tateo, right
Ikuo Tateo, right

And, after many other trips, he knows the tricks of the trade. 

Check out this description from the Log article: 

"And he has distributed the weight to one side of the vessel, which he said will make it easier to flip the boat back over if he capsizes. Solar panels and batteries will provide electricity for light at night, and Tateo has installed special reflectors on the boat, in case he needs to be located in an emergency."

Although there's no mention of it in the article, a Google search of Tateo's name brings up several other stories about past rescues at sea--one in 2004 and another in 2008

He knows the dangers. In fact, he kind of likes them. "But the waves out there are huge, and the weather is unpredictable, which is also part of the excitement," Tateo told the Log via a translator. 

Newport-resident Hisafumi Endo met Tateo on a recent trip to Japan, the Log article says, and helped him find a place to stay and work on his boat for the two weeks he spent in Newport before leaving. Tateo plans to finish his trip by December.

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >