16 year-old Zac Sunderland of Ventura, California will be relying on Weather Decision Technologies' ClearPoint Weather, the world's most comprehensive marine weather service, when he sets sail aboard his thirty-six foot yacht, Intrepid, on May 31, 2008. WDT is a sponsor of Zac's quest to become the youngest American sailor since 1965 to attempt a solo global circumnavigation, and is providing him with free weather updates, as well as an Iridium 9505A satellite phone for critical data and voice communications.
"Tracking the weather is going to be so key on this trip, and I know what it's like to get caught in a bad patch," said Zac. "I've been in situations where I've hit some really big 15 or 20 foot breaking waves with no back to them. Once I caught a storm which really blew up, slamming me around all over the place." With ClearPoint, Zac will be able to forecast and track weather conditions such as winds, waves, fronts, satellite, precipitation, tropical storms, hurricanes, sea temperature, air temperature and fog, using his constantly updating weather data, fed directly to his MarineNav onboard PC.
"Zac's courage and determination is an inspiration to sailors, young and old, all over the world," said Jim Laramie, Chairman and CEO of Weather Decision Technologies. "We are happy to be contributing the premium ClearPoint Weather Service to Zac's endeavor, and wish him a safe voyage around the planet."
Zac should be able to stay in constant communication during his trip using the global Iridium satellite service, which is also used to download short weather updates which he can explore using the simple all-in-one graphical weather view on his computer screen.
Tracking global weather shifts will be an important aspect of safety during Zac's adventure which will take him all over the world, where he will face every kind of marine weather condition, from the Marshall Islands, to the Solomon Islands, to Papua New Guinea, Australia, Mauritius, Madagascar, and the dramatic seascape of the Cape of Good Hope of South Africa. Zac's home stretch is through the Panama Canal, and the Galapagos Islands before the last leg of the voyage back to Los Angeles. Zac anticipates the immense solo voyage will last as long as 12 to 18 months.
ClearPoint Weather service will also be featured as part of Minoru Saito's upcoming solo circumnavigation beginning in October 2008. At 74, Mr. Saito will be the world's first and oldest circumnavigator sailor to complete eight solo circumnavigations. He was recently recognized in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest sailor to sail around the world solo and non-stop (http://www.saito8.com/index_whatsnew_guinness.htm).
The Intrepid will depart Marina del Rey, California on May 31. Daily updates will be available at www.zacsunderland.com.