Teenager attempting world record sails into Honolulu

Zac Sunderland
Zac Sunderland
Marianne Sunderland
Marianne Sunderland

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A California teenager going for a world record sailed into Honolulu Friday morning. Chopper 8 flew over Ala Wai Yatch Harbor as 16-year-old Zac Sunderland sails his 36-foot Intrepid into port.

It's his first stop in his attempt to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Along with hoping to make the Guinness Book of World Records, he hopes to share this experience with others.

"I've been reading a lot, I have a phone on the boat too. I have e-mail computer different things shooting a lot of footage shooting a documentary as well. I have six cameras on the boat," Zac said.

The Thousand Oaks, California native grew up sailing. His first home was a sailboat. Zac's parents raised him and his seven siblings on boats.

"For him with his experience and the support network that he has, it's just the right challenge for him," said Zac's mother Marianne Sunderland.

Zac says during his 23 days alone at sea, he got a scare from a visitor, which was a bird.

"Hit the sail in the middle of the night, jumped out of my skin and it stayed on the boat for a day until I kicked him off," Zac said.

Even though he's taking on a giant challenge, he's still your typical sixteen year old.

"I was actually thinking of guitar hero for the PC actually because that was hard to live without," he said.

He's planned the entire 40,000 mile journey to take about 18 months.

After spending a few days with his family here in Hawaii, he will sail to the Marshall Islands which will be about 2,500 miles.

His dad plans to meet him at each port of call.