16 Year-old American Attempts Solo Circumnavigation

Zac Sunderland, a 16 year-old American, set sail this past Saturday in an attempt become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo. According to this story at the BBC News, the young sailor got underway from Los Angeles and is now making his way across the Pacific Ocean.

The current record holder for youngest solo circumnavigation is Australian David Dicks who completed his journey at the age of 18 years and 41 days back in 1996. Zac is currently about 16 1/2 years old, so he has until January 2010 to complete his journey and break the record.

Zac’s ship is dubbed the Intrepid and it is a 36-foot sail boat that he bought with his own money. The small cabin contains his bunk, communications and satellite navigations systems, and a small galley equipped with a microwave. The Intrepid will be home for the next year and a half, and he may be at sea for up to six week at a time completely alone, but his projected course will allow him to make stops along the way, especially once he gets across the long, lonely Pacific Ocean.

The first target destination is the Marshall Islands. From there he’ll continue across the Pacific to Papua New Guinea and Australia before turning his sights on the Indian Ocean, heading towards Mauritius and Madagascar. Next, he’ll risk the Cape of Good Hope at the southernmost tip of Africa before sailing across the South Atlantic, up the coast of South America, through the Panama Canal, with a quick jaunt to the Galapagos before turning toward home, back in Los Angeles.

You can read more bout Zac’s adventure at his official website where you’ll find more about the young man who doesn’t even have his driver’s license yet. You’ll also find Zac’s Blog as he writes about his journey. Good luck Zac! We’ll be following!

Thanks to Niki for reminding me of this. 🙂

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “16 Year-old American Attempts Solo Circumnavigation”

  1. Now that’s brave — have been reading A SPECK ON THE SEA about some amazing crossings in small boats and finished the classic A Voyage for a Madman about cicumnav race in the ’60s — now with GPS, Sat Phones still massively challenging — will keep an eye on his site — thanks for the info…


  2. Agreed. Very brave indeed. When I was 16 crossing the city was an adventure. 🙂 If you had turned me loose on the world, I probably would have gotten into all kinds of trouble. 😉

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