Zac Sunderland will set sailing record, but it probably won't hold for long
Zac Sunderland was on ABC's "Nightline" on Wednesday night, and he'll be profiled in the L.A. Times well before his scheduled arrival in Marina del Rey on or before July 14, which will mark the end of his around-the-world sailing odyssey aboard a 36-foot boat named Intrepid.
He'll continue to receive media attention from other sources too as he gets closer to becoming the youngest person, at 17, to have solo-circumnavigated the planet.
But what about Mike Perham (pictured below)? The English teen has not received much attention in the United States, yet at the end of the month, he figures to steal the record for himself.
Perham is also 17 but a few months younger than Sunderland and sailing in a larger, much faster racing yacht. The two sailors, on different courses, crossed paths in Cape Town, South Africa, and were cordial. But it's no secret Zac thinks the situation stinks.
Perham's 50-foot boat, Totallymoney.com, is nearing the Panama Canal and due back in England on July 28. That's exactly two weeks after Sunderland's scheduled return, although Sunderland is less than 600 miles out and could arrive much sooner. Of course, Perham still has to cross the Atlantic, and as both sailors know, a lot can go wrong at sea.
And both are aware of what's happening Down Under. Jessica Watson is planning a late-summer departure from Australia and will attempt to sail around the world alone and unassisted, nonstop, in a 34-foot boat. Jessica is only 15.
-- Pete Thomas
Top photo: Zac Sunderland holds over in Puerto Valllarta during a recent tropical storm. Credit: Pete Thomas / Los Angeles Times
Bottom photo: Mike Perham nestles in the cabin of his 50-foot yacht during his around-the-world journey. Credit: Totallymoney.com