Zac Sunderland, Solo Teen Sailor, arrives Darwin

Zac in Darwin - photo by Amanda Berkahn
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The Californian teenager Zac Sunderland, looking to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe solo arrived in Darwin yesterday. David Dicks, an Australian from Fremantle, now holds the record - he completed the trip in nine months when he was 18 years and 41 days old.

Zac left Southern California on June 14 this year. To achieve his goal, the 16-year-old must return to Southern California by January 2010. He thinks he can complete the journey by April 2009.

Three weeks ago, he was nearing Papua New Guinea and braving squalls and huge seas. He has previously docked in Hawaii and the Marshall Islands.

He's now docked in Darwin for a week and is looking forward to a decent meal.

'It's good to start walking again, feels weird, but it's good,' he says.

His father Laurence has flown out from California to see him.

'I'm amazed at how well he looks and how he's doing. I'm a very proud dad.'

Zac Sunderland sailing into Darwin
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The young sailor is confident he'll break the records of Western Australia David Dicks, who finished the feat aged 18.

After Darwin, it's on to South Africa via the Indian Ocean, where severe storms are predicted.

But he says he's faced some tough sailing so far.

'The squalls around the equator are pretty crazy. I had good 40 knot squalls and stuff and big seas.

'Also, going into Papua New Guinea had some really big seas getting in there, 35 knots constant, and big seas.

'You don't really have time to be scared out there, it's more like just dealing with it. If you get scared, you mess up.'

Sail-World has been following Zac's journey since he left earlier this year, and you can find multiple stories about him by using our search function in the top right hand side of your screen.