3 Hawaii sailors return
from French Polynesia

After a 6,000-mile round-trip adventure to Tahiti on a 42-foot sailboat, three Hawaii men in their 70s arrived safely and several days early at the Waikiki Yacht Club Sunday afternoon.

Max Besenbruch, 79, captain and owner of the boat Orion, Don Rudd, 72, and Herman Allerstorfer, 77, set sail March 6 from the Waikiki Yacht Club.

The men returned with sunburns and beards. They were greeted with leis and congratulations from yacht club members.

The men sailed to Tahiti, Bora Bora and the Tuamotus but failed to reach the Marquesas because of difficult wind conditions. The trip to Papeete took 21 days, and the return trip, which was expected to take until June, took just 20 days.

The men said sitting alone at night watching the stars and the full moon's reflection on the sea was the most enjoyable part of their trip.

The toughest part of the trip was getting along with each other in a confined space.

"Even on a 42-foot boat, there's no place to hide," Rudd said.

"Before you get married, you should sail together," Allerstorfer suggested, adding that if a couple could last on a sail, so would their marriage.


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