Zac Sunderland in Pacific Ocean

An American teenager who is hoping to become the youngest person to sail around the world has passed through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific Ocean for the final leg of his circumnavigation.

Zac Sunderland, 17, from California, hopes to complete his quest to reach his home port of Marina del Rey next month. He is currently stopped in Panama City, awaiting a new mainsail but plans to leave this weekend.

If Sunderland succeeds in his bid to become the youngest person to sail around the world, his record may well be short-lived. Mike Perham, the 17-year-old British teenager also attempting to become the youngest solo circumnavigator – and about 100 days younger than Sunderland – is currently stopped in New Zealand awaiting parts for his rudder in his record-breaking bid. He plans to set out the across the Pacific Ocean – to either Cape Horn or the Panama Canal – next week.