Teen Hits Choppy Waters on Global Sailing Trip

Daring Californian faces pirates on quest to beat sailing record
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2008 6:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Most 16-year-old boys pass their days pining for Miley Cyrus, but Zac Sunderland spends his fending off pirates and feeding on cold, canned meals. The California native is 5 months and nearly half-way into his quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, the Los Angeles Times reports. “It’s been frustrating,” he said. “Whenever anything goes wrong, it always happens in the middle of the night.”

While his parents have weathered criticism, the high school sophomore, who can’t legally drive, has swept through New Guinea and Australia. He has until January 2010 to complete the trip, which will leave him racing to outmaneuver storms off Africa’s southern coast on Thanksgiving and his 17th birthday. "It's hard because I know how tired he is," his mother said.