He's now on the verge of seeing that dream realized.
Sunderland's journey has taken him around the southern tip of Africa, through the Panama Canal, and even through some violent storms.
Describing one encounter, he said "It was crazy, it was pouring, with rain and the whole boat just got soaked in like five seconds. I was hand steering with all my strength to keep the boat running down wind."
Zac even skirted the edge of a hurricane, forcing him to stop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for boat repairs.
If all goes well, Sunderland could make it back to Marina del Rey sometime next week and ready to make it into the record books.