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cyberdude557

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: March 29, 2010, 05:45:07 PM

Abby Sunderland, 16, who cannot legally drive a car but is two months into a quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone, on Tuesday will face by far her most daunting challenge yet: the rounding of Cape Horn.

While her friends back home in Southern California are savoring the pleasures of spring, Sunderland is pondering the treacherous passage between South America and Antarctica. With its mountainous, heaving seas and gale-force winds, Cape Horn is a mariners' graveyard, regarded as the Mt. Everest of the yachting universe.

Reached this week via email the budding adventurer from Thousand Oaks claimed she was not afraid.

"I understand very well how dangerous the ocean is, and especially where I am, and I sail carefully and never forget how fast things can turn bad out here," she responded, from a position west of southern Argentina and 700 miles from Cape Horn. "But fear would just get in the way. When things are going on, you don't have time to be scared about it; you have to just get your head around everything and deal with it."

If Sunderland is successful it will mark her first major milestone and the beginning of a long, easterly Southern Ocean traverse aboard a 40-foot yacht named Wild Eyes. Her voyage is controversial because of her age, but also because she'll be entering this notoriously inhospitable stretch as the Southern Hemisphere summer fades to autumn and savagely cold and stormy weather begins to set in.

"My biggest hope is that she has he maturity to wait out any nasty weather rather than push too hard for a record and risk getting into trouble," says Charlie Nobles, executive director of the American Sailing Assn.

Sunderland, who lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and embarked Jan. 23 from Marina del Rey, Calif., is one of two 16-year-old girls attempting nonstop, unassisted solo-circumnavigations, subsiding on freeze-dried food and desalinated water, while accepting only verbal or online guidance from home-based teams.

Australia's Jessica Watson began her odyssey from Sydney last October and rounded Cape Horn on Jan. 13. Soon afterward she endured 70-knot winds that threatened to capsize her 34-foot pink sloop.

Watson, now more than 18,000 miles along and crossing the Indian Ocean, is five months older than Sunderland, so Sunderland will become the youngest if she completes her trip within five months of Watson's ending date. (Abby's brother Zac, who completed his voyage at 17, briefly held the distinction as being the youngest sailor to solo-circumnavigate the planet but he made several stops. England's Mike Perham, who is slightly younger, stole that honor weeks later.)

Abby Sunderland's trip was delayed by about two months because of boat issues. Her parents assure, however, that she'll listen closely to weather experts and scurry to the nearest port if conditions become too harsh.

Meanwhile, the intrepid mariner is faring reasonably well. "I miss my family, and my dog, and my friends," she wrote, adding that thoughts often turn to her 5-year-old sister, Katherine. They share a bedroom and Katherine idolizes Abby, and has not slept in the room alone since Abby's departure.

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/16744/teenage+sailor+abby+sunderland+approaching+treacherous+cape+horn/

JoshJohnson11

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#1 : March 29, 2010, 05:51:08 PM

super cool. Good to see someone following their dreams.

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Skull and Bones

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#2 : March 29, 2010, 06:06:52 PM

wonder how her parents will feel if she gets killed or raped.  Could they be charged with neglect?


BucFan9720

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#3 : March 29, 2010, 06:32:55 PM

That is awesome. Good for her.

cyberdude557

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#4 : March 29, 2010, 08:34:37 PM

wonder how her parents will feel if she gets killed or raped. Could they be charged with neglect?

These days she could get raped and killed walking to school. Do you suggest her parents lock her in her room 24/7?

Skull and Bones

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#5 : March 29, 2010, 09:11:12 PM

big difference between letting your 16 year old daughter to to the mall or even drive to a concert 50 miles away and letting her sail around the world by herself.


JoshJohnson11

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#6 : March 29, 2010, 09:51:16 PM

wonder how her parents will feel if she gets killed or raped.
Man come on lets not try and bring that stuff up.

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Skull and Bones

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#7 : June 10, 2010, 04:00:23 PM

well I guess my concerns about letting a 16 year old girl do this were right:


Abby Sunderland Feared Lost at Sea
Crew Receives Repeated Distress Signals, Loses Contact With 16-Year-Old Attempting Circumnavigation

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By ROBERT RUDMAN, MARC DORIAN and TOM McCARTHY
June 10, 2010



Abby Sunderland, 16, who is attempting to become the youngest sailor ever to circumnavigate the globe, was feared lost at sea today after her crew lost contact with her boat.
Abby Sunderland's age sparks debate over how young is too young.

Jeff Casher, an engineer on Sunderland's support team, said two emergency beacons on her boat are now signaling she is in trouble.

Abby's mother, MaryAnne Sunderland, told ABC News that Abby manually activated two beacons around 6 a.m. Pacific Time Thursday.

A beacon designed to automatically go off when it contacts water had not been activated, she said.

Abby was in 20-25 foot waves at the time of last contact, with 35-knot winds, said MaryAnne Sunderland, who is due to give birth at the end of the month. She was shaken but focused on trying to get a rescue effort together.

The closest land to Abby's boat was Reunion Island, which is east of Madagascar. The nearest ship was 400 miles away. Rescuers were trying to contact the ship.

Click HERE to watch Abby give a tour of her boat.

Casher told ABC News that he last spoke with the 16-year-old sailor around 6 a.m. PDT after she had been knocked down twice during the night because of strong winds -- meaning that her sail had touched the water.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/abby-sunderland...ory?id=10877108


Incognito

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#8 : June 10, 2010, 04:31:09 PM

Lost at sea.

Thats exactly why a parent shouldn't be letting their CHILD sail around the world (especially alone).

Her parents should have to suffer a lifetime of guilt for their horrible judgment call.

If they DON'T feel any guilt or responsibility for this tragedy... then they have no souls.

Idiots... thats what they are. I just can't believe some people.

If I had a 16 yr old daughter who came to me and asked me for my consent to sail around the world alone, I'd LOL in her face and tell her to wait 2 more years. If she wants to put her life at risk once she becomes an adult, its her choice... until then, the choice is MINE... and the answer is NO. Besides, 2 more years of sailing practice/experience would make me more comfortable about her journey.

cyberdude557

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#9 : June 10, 2010, 04:36:40 PM

No one said it wasnt dangerous. When Magellan attempted the voyage in the 1500s, he left with 235 men on five ships. Only 1 ship made it back with 18 men and Magellan himself was killed.

cyberdude557

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#10 : June 10, 2010, 04:39:11 PM

Also the Aussie girl who is 17 just finished her voyage last month...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/3782410/Jessica-Watson-arrives-home-in-Queensland

Skull and Bones

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#11 : June 10, 2010, 05:09:36 PM

nice backpeddle Cyber.  just admit I was right and you were wrong.


cyberdude557

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#12 : June 10, 2010, 05:23:55 PM

Right about what? That someone going on a dangerous voyage ran into danger?

She and her family knew the danger of what she was doing and well aware of the risks.

GameTime

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#13 : June 10, 2010, 06:00:15 PM

letting children sail million dollar boats around the world by themselves is foolish imo.

\"Lets put the O back in Country\"

Skull and Bones

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#14 : June 10, 2010, 07:59:56 PM

Right about what? That someone going on a dangerous voyage ran into danger?

She and her family knew the danger of what she was doing and well aware of the risks.
well crap, that settles that then.  I nominate them for Parents of the Year.

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