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Global sailor Zac Sunderland on home stretch, bound for fame

Cover image from ESPN magazine, due on stands Friday. Is it presumptuous for Outposts, which has been closely following Zac Sunderland's global solo-sailing adventure for almost a year, to take credit for the teenager's increasing fame?


The 17-year-old from Thousand Oaks, who is nearing completion of his odyssey, has done all the work and it just so happens that mainstream media are finally jumping aboard.

Zac is featured on the cover of the next issue of ESPN magazine, due on stands Friday, complete with a story based on an interview conducted after the shaggy-haired sailor recently pulled into Grenada, before his passage through the Panama Canal.

Not bad considering he's going up against the NBA Finals, NHL playoffs, baseball and the French Open tennis tournament.

It's only the beginning. Expect to see Zac, who is now off Central America on a northbound course for home, on morning and late-night TV. He'll be featured on newscasts, and at least one prominent contemporary magazine wants to feature him after his arrival in Marina del Rey this month.

Zac, who still must negotiate a potentially treacherous Eastern Pacific leg, left home last June a humble teen and became a man during his travels. But after all that time alone at sea, is he ready to become a celebrity?

Presumably, yes.

-- Pete Thomas 

Photo: Cover image from ESPN magazine, due on stands Friday.

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Comments (6)

NIce job Zac continue to live life to it's fullest. You only have 1.

I've been reading about Zac in the Times since he left Marina Del Rey last year. I'm glad to see he's finally getting recognition for his efforts in the last few months from other publications. I don't subcribe to ESPN mag, but I went to the post office this morning and someone had generously left their copy for others to read. It's been a long time since I've been inspired by another person's project. I applaud Zac's effort and his parent's courage to ride it out with him. As the mother of a 17 year old, I totally understand how scary it is to let my son venture forth on his own. We all feel like our kids have asked our support for a solo trip around the world, Zac's parents are the only one's who have actually had to face supporting such a request, though. No criticism here, just applause as I watch what their efforts have wrought. Congratulations to all the Sutherlands and I look forward to being one in the crowd in Marina Del Rey when Zac makes it home!

very, very inspirng story. His credits not only go to him, buy his parents as well. The suffering and agony that they must had gone through when they couldn't reach him for days. Thanks Zac, for having the guts and inspiring us all.

It's been almost a year, there have been times of terror and concern, and times of sheer excitement and relief. But through it all there has been one constant. A seventeen year old boy who grew up and became a man.
Zac has handled life altering and life threatening emergencies, sailed through weather that those of us on shore would dread, been followed by unknown ships, repaired a broken boom, fixed destroyed rigging, overcome torn sails, lost electronics to failure, and all while in the middle of the ocean.
He has a family that has been through just about as much as he has, especially Mom.
And through it all he has held his faith close, grew in maturity, respected and thanked those who prayed, wish, helped, and gave.
If a better role model is what you seek......look towards Zac Sunderland.

"Pretty pretty pretty KOOL!"

Great! My congrats to his parents, they must be very proud. This is the kind of stories we need to hear. Our kids need to hear, and need to see! "you can do anything you put your mine too" GOD BLESS him- We need to help our children understand this is the time to shine, and the opportunities are out there for them to go after.


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.