Solo-sailor Zac Sunderland look out: The British are coming!
Zac Sunderland, who is trying to become the youngest person to solo-sail around the world, can forget about pirates.
The most tangible threat to his endeavor is another 16-year-old, who has a larger, faster boat and is intent, as a BBC news story reported, to "steal the record from the American's grasp."
England's Michael Perham, who at 14 sailed alone across the Atlantic, left Saturday aboard a sleek 50-foot racing yacht and plans on completing his journey sometime next May, without stopping.
Speaking from aboard his vessel, Perham told the BBC: "I really want to get round the world. At the same time I have the aim to get the record."
Sunderland, a Thousand Oaks teenager who is taking his time aboard an older, slower 36-foot boat, is currently halfway around the world in Mauritius.
Sunderland, whose operation is not as well financed, is making stops in exotic locales and enjoying that part of his adventure as much as the sailing. He is not scheduled to complete his journey till around June 2009.
Sunderland will soon set out to round South Africa's Cape of Good Hope. He has not yet commented on the emergence of a rival, though he has promised to do so this week on his blog.
Both young men are to be commended on their bravery, potential records notwithstanding.
Photo: Zac Sunderland, aboard his 36-foot sailboat in Mauritius, has not yet commented about a fellow 16-year-old trying to get around the world before he does. Credit: Jen Edney