It’s hard to believe sometimes the variety of humans that come from the same basic genome. I mean, how can the same 23 pairs of chromosomes that turned out pop tarts like Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan also produce someone like Zac Sunderland?
Sunderland, 17, arrived back in Marina Del Rey yesterday morning, having completed a solo circumnavigation of the globe in his 36-ft sailboat, INTREPID. He’s the youngest person to ever achieve such a difficult feat. Many questioned his sanity – and that of his parents – in letting him face such a challenge, but Zac never saw it that way.
“I think society puts young people in a box — people 15, 16, 17 — and does not expect them to do much but go to high school and play football and stuff like that,” Sunderland said. “This just shows they can do a lot more with some strong ambition and desire. My [advice] is to get out there and do your thing with all you got.”
While such a trip is dangerous, Sunderland was an experienced sailor on a well-equipped if older boat. He was followed along the way by satphone and internet update, allowing his throng of fans to share in his exploits. And what exploits they were – chased by pirates, swamped by rogue waves and suffering from broken booms and torn sails, Sunderland was forced to stop for repairs several times along the way. But nothing could stop his progress, or his desire to complete the journey, and now he can reap the well-deserved rewards.
Welcome home, Zac. Enjoy your moment in the sun – and the rest of your life!