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CNN Student News Transcript Special: Young People Who Rock

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  • CNN Student News is posting special Webcasts throughout the summer
  • Today's program introduces viewers to some Young People Who Rock
  • Meet a 16-year-old who's attempting to sail around the globe solo
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(CNN Student News) -- June 30, 2008



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi there! Thanks for checking out this latest summer Web cast of CNN Student News. I'm your host, Carl Azuz.

Young People Who Rock

AZUZ: Today, we're talking about Young People Who Rock! In this series, CNN's Nicole Lapin introduces us to some incredible people making some remarkable accomplishments. They all have one thing in common: They're under 30 years old! During the school year, we featured a woman from Atlanta who started a club to help kids dealing with the loss of a loved one. We also met two young entrepreneurs who launched "Generation Engage;" that's an organization that aims to get 18-to-29 year olds involved in the democratic process.

Today, we introduce you to Zac Sunderland, a teenager working on a pretty big summer project: sailing around the world solo! Zac got started earlier this month, a crowd of onlookers cheering him. He set sail from Marina del Rey, California. He's just 16 and needs to finish before he's 18 to become the youngest person ever to make the trip alone. He and his parents are writing a blog with updates from the journey. You can find a link to that on our home page, Nicole talked to Zac before he started his sea adventure about why he's taking on this kind of challenge.


ZAC SUNDERLAND, YOUNG SAILOR: Well, mainly for the adventure, you know? Football season was over and I was looking for something else to do, and I've always had this goal to go out and do something amazing on the ocean. That's my background, so I decided to try to make it happen. And I've started to make stuff go, and it's going.

NICOLE LAPIN, CNN REPORTER: You grew up with boats since you were a little baby; we have pictures of you with a boat.

SUNDERLAND: Yeah, yeah. I was born in Santa Monica Hospital and was brought down to a boat right away.

LAPIN: So, here's the deal. The record was set, help me out with this. The record was set when somebody was 18 to sail solo around the world. And you want to beat that? And you also want to complete before you're 18? So, there are two different records you want to beat.

SUNDERLAND: Well, you get the record when you come back, that's when it gets clocked in. So, the record right now is 18 and 41 days. So, I want to get back when I'm still 17 and get the record.

LAPIN: And we're looking at your route, this is really amazing. I mean, how long did it take you to prepare your route? That's important.

SUNDERLAND: It's been done several times before, so there's general places where the kind of route, you follow the currents and winds and stuff. But I've done so much modification. In fact, just today, I've been talking to my weatherman, and apparently in the Solomon Islands, there's a lot of political unrest really recently, so I'm going to have to bypass that.

LAPIN: Pirates?

SUNDERLAND: No, political stuff. They are just corrupt and different things. Different governments switching hands.

LAPIN: Aren't there places you're trying to avoid also because you're scared of pirates? Are you nervous?

SUNDERLAND: Yeah, well, you know, where there are areas where there is piracy, so you have to just bypass those areas, or go with many other boats or with the Navy whenever you try to do this. There is various ways to get aroud it. I actually did not reroute, but there is two options to get around Africa, and I chose the Cape of Good Hope rather than the Suez Canal, because the Suez Canal is notorious for the piracy around there and the Cape of Good Hope is notorious for weather. So, I chose the weather over piracy.

LAPIN: How long do you expect this to take you to complete the entire journey?

SUNDERLAND: Between a year and a year and a half. I have a year and a half to complete it, so it really depends on how long I decide to stay in certain places, and the weather and different stuff.

LAPIN: So the goal is the adventure, but also to break this record. That's really important to you.

SUNDERLAND: Yeah, it's important. It's my goal to get around and do it, so it would make it more amazing. But, I'm not going to put the boat or myself in danger by pushing for the record too hard. So, it's there.

LAPIN: So, what are you doing to prepare?

SUNDERLAND: To prepare the boat?

LAPIN: To prepare your sustenance, to prepare all sorts of things. I mean, I can't even imagine preparing to go solo around the world. Go to Costco, where did you go?

SUNDERLAND: Yeah, actually a lot of Costco! My whole foyer of my house is full of food right now. I'm just trying to figure out how I'm gonna fit it all in my little boat. And we're working on the boat, just getting the engine in and getting the electronics all set up, getting the computer gear and charts all rigged up.

LAPIN: And teriyaki sauce? We heard you have a penchant for teriyaki sauce.

SUNDERLAND: Yeah, I'm not sure. I think I've got a gallon of that stuff. There's lots of fish out there, so that'd be a good, fun part. And then there's all the surfboards and everything. Got to get them all waxed up and in the bags in the boat. Yeah, just a lot of packing and stuff.

LAPIN: We put your story on our Web site and we got a lot of questions from one person who wanted to know why teriyaki sauce. We put that little tidbit up there. This person wants to know, why not maybe lemon sauce? What's the deal, Zac?

SUNDERLAND: Well, I like teriyaki sauce. Hey, fish, teriyaki sauce, just goes together. So, why not?

LAPIN: So, you're going to knosh on that for an entire year.

SUNDERLAND: Yeah, hopefully.

LAPIN: And dry foods and canned foods and things like that. What would you say to a young person who's watching right now, who might be really nervous about taking on something so complicated, something where you have to think about all of the details? What would you say to that young person who's perhaps scared of doing something as adventurous as you're doing?

SUNDERLAND: You just got to go for it, you know? If you can't make it, it's not. You just have to go for it and press hard and see if you can make it work. That's what I've been doing and it's been going great and everything's falling into place. You have the dream, but you just got to move on the dream to make it happen.

LAPIN: Make it happen. Alright, Zac Sunderland, a 16-year-old man from Los Angeles who wants to sail around the world solo and break a record. Thanks so much, Zac. We appreciate it.

SUNDERLAND: Thanks for having me.

LAPIN: If you know somebody doing amazing things like Zac is, you can jut head over to the Web site, You can nominate them; you can also read a little bit more about Zac and his adventures.


Web Promo

AZUZ: Learn more about Zac's trip. Tell us about a young person you think is doing something really cool. You can do that at the Spotlight section on our home page. And while you're there, head to our blog, From A to Z! We're going to be posting all summer long and want you to jump into the conversation. Since school's out, we know you've got some free time on your hands. So, come spend some of it at


JIM RIBBLE, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Avast, ye mateys! It's time for a Summer Shoutout! What part of the boat is this arrow pointing to? If you think you know it, shout it out! Is it the: A) Bow, B) Stern, C) Port or D) Starboard? You've got three seconds -- GO! Follow that arrow aft to the stern of the ship, which means the back. If you didn't get it right, you'll have to walk the plank! Yargh! That's your answer and that's your seafaring Summer Shoutout!



AZUZ: That's where this Web cast sails toward the horizon. But we'll be back online and on iTunes with our next summer special; that's coming up in just a couple weeks. In the meantime, send us an iReport showing us how you're spending your vacation? Find out how at! We'll see you next time!

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