Earlier today, seventeen-year-old Zac Sunderland completed a 13-month journey around the world on a thirty-six-foot yacht known as, Intrepid. Sunderland accomplished the impressive feat all by himself, making him the youngest person to ever do so. The previous record was held by Jesse Martin, an Australian, who had finished the same journey at the age of eighteen in 1999.
Those welcoming Sunderland back home were heard to say that the seventeen-year-old had “left as a boy and came back a man.” His father, Laurence Sunderland, thinks likewise, saying today to the LA Times, “He left thinking that he knew a lot about life, and the difference now is, he does. You look into his eyes; he’s very much a deep thinker now. He tries to anticipate things more so now, before they happen.”
The long journey, started in Marina del Rey, California, brought the young Sunderland through three oceans and five seas. He also crossed the equator twice and traveled, in total, over 25,000 miles during which he encountered, “a pirate scare, a broken boom, broken tiller, broken forestay rigging, a broken bulkhead, and he was swamped and almost washed overboard by a rogue wave off Grenada.”
However, while Zac is certainly enjoying the lime light today, a young Brit by the name of Mike Perham is currently finishing a similar solo journey around the globe. Perham, who is a few months younger than Zac, will likely finish his trek in a few weeks, taking the world record from Sunderland. Perham’s yacht, however is 50-feet in length and is a racing yacht, making his circumnavigation both, arguably, easier and more comfortable, say some Sunderland supporters.