Sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland aims to break her brother’s record of being the youngest American sailor to circle the globe alone. Just five months ago, Zac Sunderland returned from his solo voyage circumnavigating the globe. Wild Eyes, her 40-foot racing yacht, was taken on a rough trip from Ensenada to Marina del Rey to be prepared for a long voyage around the world; but this rough short voyage only encourages Abby. She knows this trip is nothing compared to the rough seas she’ll be handling far away from home.
In July, Abby’s brother completed a highly-publicized adventure in exotic ports and rough seas, including a confrontation with pirates as well as barely avoiding a collision in the Panama Canal with a freighter.
Abby plans to embark on her voyage before the turn of the New Year, with a goal of being the youngest person to complete this trip nonstop, alone and unassisted. All food and necessities for the entirety of the trip will be aboard her vessel from the start, as well as freeze-dried food and a water desalination device. In order to make the record, she may not make landfall or accept assistance beyond advice.
This dream of sailing the world came about when Abby was only 13, but her older brother Zac was the first to have a go at the adventure. While Zac traveled in higher latitudes and warm climates, Abby plans to sail down the Pacific, down and around South America and Cape Horn, and then head east in the Southern Ocean. This is a more direct and more dangerous route.
Her parents didn’t believe she was ready at 13, but now at 16, they believe her sailing ability and emotional maturity are at levels where she would be able to take on this voyage.
Currently, sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson is about 6,000 miles into a similar sailing Journey, with aims to be Australia’s youngest person to sail the world unassisted and non-stop.
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