Sunderland is youngest to sail alone
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- A shaggy-haired 17-year-old from Southern California has become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.
Zac Sunderland docked Thursday in this coastal community west of Los Angeles, completing a 28,000-mile trip that began last year. His family, friends and hundreds of curious onlookers cheered as his 36-foot Intrepid boat entered the harbor.
He later gave a whoop of joy as he approached a microphone to address the crowd.
"It's awesome to finally get back here," he said.
Sunderland was 16 when he left Marina del Rey on June 14, 2008 -- a voyage that included encounters with pirates and wild storms. His father is a shipwright who has met him at various stops around the world, often to help him repair damage to the boat.
On Sunderland's Web site, a series of videos document his travels.
In one video, Sunderland tells the camera he's about to sail into a "massive squall," adding, "I need to just put away all the sails right now, so I gotta go."
Sunderland's record may not last for long. British sailor Mike Perham is a few months younger than Sunderland and is sailing a bigger, faster boat in an attempt for the record.
The record was previously held by an Australian who was over 18 when he completed the voyage in 1996.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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