Sunshine Coast teenager Lachlan Smart is standing on the edge of a history making moment, and on Saturday he will go from attempting a Guinness World Record to owning one.
On July 4, 2016 Smart departed from the Sunshine Coast Airport at 4.15am AEST with the hope of becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by aircraft, solo. It was a trip that had been two and half years in the making, and on Saturday the 18-year-old will not only officially own that record…he will smash it.
The previous benchmark was set by American Matt Guthmiller who completed his circumnavigation when he was 19 years, 7 months and 15 days. Smart will be 18 years, 7 months and 21 days when he touches down on August 27.
While the record is key to this journey, it was never the motivation for Smart to pack his life into a single engine plane to fly across vast masses of water, stopping in 24 locations and 15 countries along the way.
The real dream was for Smart to inspire others, particularly youth, to chase their dreams.
His logic was simple: If a teenager from the modest suburb of Nambour on the Sunshine Coast could rally a team to support him, raise funds and spread his message of youth achievement to people all around the world, there was nothing that could stop others from achieving high goals.
Come Saturday, Smart will depart Bundaberg early in the early morning and is expected to touch down on the Sunshine Coast at 7.30am AEST.
He will be greeted by a public welcome party that will include friends, family, official partners, government officials and importantly the people that have followed his trip for more than seven weeks, regardless of whether they personally know him or not.
Upon his arrival there will be a formal welcome home ceremony, but not before the one person who has counted down each day since his departure, greets him, mother Vanessa Sprague.
In a fitting finale to his world flight, Vanessa will also be the honorary marshal, directing Lachie into his final parking spot before the pair is reunited for the first time in more than 50 days.
Public are invited to attend from 6.45am AEST.