Calif. Teen Finishes Record Round-the-World Sail

Zac Sunderland, 17, breaks record for youngest person to sail around the world
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 3:45 PM CDT
Zac Sunderland, 17-year-old sailing solo around the world, on the cover of the new issue of ESPN The Magzine.   (Photo: Business Wire)
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(Newser) – Zac Sunderland, 17, returned to Los Angeles today, completing a 13-month journey and earning the title of youngest sailor ever to circumnavigate the globe, the Times reports. Sunderland, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was greeted by cheering crowds aboard yachts and sailboats. He traveled 25,000 miles, crossing three oceans and five seas, enduring a pirate scare, a rogue wave and numerous boat malfunctions.

Sunderland may not hold his record long: Mike Perham, a British teenager who is a few months younger, cast off last November on a similar circumnavigation voyage. Perham, however, is sponsored and making the trip in a 50-foot yacht; Sunderland captained a 36-foot sailboat. “It’s like one guy’s got a Ferrari and the other guy’s got a VW,” said the director of the American Sailing Association. “There’s really no comparison.”