When 16-year-old Zac Sunderland told his parents he wanted to sail solo around the world, they didn’t send him to his room. They pulled out a map and started plotting the route.
It may seem strange to many parents, but the Sunderlands wholeheartedly supported their son's decision to sail 25,000 miles around the earth. When Zac was 10 years old, he and his family sailed up and down the California coast for three years. So when this teenager got bored of high school sports, sailing around the world seemed not so out of the ordinary.
After spending money on a boat and refinishing it, Zac sailed from Marina del Rey in June 2008 and is now a month shy of completing his journey. When he arrives back, he will be the youngest circumnavigator in history. But he may not have that title for long. A British kid named Mike Perham is fast on Zac's trail. He is also competing for the title of youngest solo circumnavigator. Perham has the advantage - he's a couple of months younger than Zac. But for Zac, this was never about titles or competition; it's always been about the journey.
Special thanks to Itik Productions and Zac Sunderland for providing footage for this piece. Thanks also to Praxis Universal for their help with this story.