California Teen Smashes Solo Sailing Record, Crossing the Atlantic on a 1976 Boat

The 16-year-old teenager that accomplished one of the most challenging endeavors even for experienced sailors had learned how to sail just months before and said that the most difficult part was dealing with the loneliness.
The 16-year-old Cal Currier is most likely the youngest person to have crossed the Atlantic solo, on a sailboat 7 photos
Cal Currier is a California teen that sailed solo across the AtlanticCal Currier and Sandy Van ZandtCal Currier and Sandy Van ZandtThe Argos Sailboat PlansCal Currier is a California teen that sailed solo across the AtlanticCal Currier is a California teen that sailed solo across the Atlantic
Most teenagers were probably waiting for this summer so they could chill during the day and party at night. But Cal Currier had much bigger plans. The California teenager headed on a risky solo trip across the Atlantic Ocean on a 30-foot (9.1 meters) sailboat built in 1976. He set sail on June 27 and ended up spending 28 days on the water, according to People.

The initial plan was to travel to Spain, but the final destination ended up being Lagos, Portugal. Cal successfully sailed for almost 4,000 miles (6,437 km) from Marion, Massachusetts, to Lagos. By all accounts, he is now the youngest person to have sailed across the Atlantic.

His father had told Sippican Week that the Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t want to encourage teens younger than 16 to attempt to break the record, which is why the figures aren’t very clear. But, from what he could find, Currier’s father believes that the last time something similar was accomplished was way back in 1976.

That also happens to be the year when the Tartan sailboat that would become Cal’s vessel was built. Cal started a summer camp in order to raise money for the boat, which he had found through an online listing, and paid $12,000 for it. Luckily for him, the boat belonged to a reputable boat maker, the 90-year-old Sandy Van Zandt, who was actually planning a similar trip but became Cal’s mentor instead. The boat was named Argos and was initially packed with 400 miles’ worth of diesel and 100 days’ worth of food.

The teen’s only means of communicating with his family was through intermittent satellite connection, and he also had to handle by himself all the practical issues that came up during the trip. But to him, the hardest part of it all was the mental aspect – being alone and unable to communicate with anyone. That is why Cal won’t be sailing solo again anytime soon, but he’s ready for other new adventures.


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