Sixteen year old reaches first stop in circumnavigation attempt

An American teenager hoping to become the youngest person to sail around the world singlehanded has reached Hawaii, completing the first leg of his voyage.

Zac Sunderland, 16, left Marina del Rey, California on 14 June in his Islander 36,Intrepid, arriving in Hawaii last Friday.

On his latest blog posting, he wrote: “Last night I picked up some wind about 30 miles out of the Kawiii Channel, the passage between Mokakai and Oahu which is notorious for bad sea conditions. The wind built up to about 15 knots by the time I reached the channel. I reached the channel at 12:30am and set my course for Diamond Head.

The channel was a little choppy and I got a couple waves in the cockpit. At around 2:00am one came over the side of the boat and soaked me. It was a warm night so it wasn’t bad actually- helped me stay up. I was up all last night navigating around ships and studying charts. I reached Diamond Head around 4am and called my mom who told me I was going to have to stand off the harbor till the reporters got there at 9am……. just what I want be doing after being out at sea for three weeks and not sleeping all night!

At around 9:30am a boat packed with camera crews and reporters came out and got some footage of me sailing (well if you can call it that – the wind pretty much stopped after I got around Diamond Head)…I did a few interviews, locked up the boat and headed off to my parents hotel. We hit the lunch buffet where I ate a little of everything and slept for a couple hrs. The shower was awesome!”

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Keep up with the voyage on Zac Sunderland’s website