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Jun 24, 2010


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Marina Del Rey Yacht|Boat|Sailing

Marina Del Rey Boat- I watched Abby's boat being worked on at Windward Yacht Center in Marina Del Rey before her launch.

Boat Bottom Cleaning, painting, engine work, navigational controls and much more was done.

It takes a lot courage for Abby to carry on with the family tradition.

I hope she tries again.

Capt. Ron
Marina Del Rey Boat

Starkina Trekina

By the way Charles, none of us "pundits" are stupid enough to spend "ONE night in a gale aboard a small boat thousands of miles from shore." what we are criticizing her for is embarking on a venture that was both risky and meaningless for her own personal glory. There was no possible way for anyone to gain from this idiotic venture. How you like them apples chuck?

Starkina Trekina

I am of the opinion that abby's trip was an idiotic venture. Just because her brother somehow against the odds managed to make the trip, doesn't mean that she should try. Her parents are odviously mentally challenged to allow her to attempt this venture. This isn't a movie, this is the real world. Her brother almost died trying to make the trip, as did she. Her parents either don't want her around too much, or they are simply stupid. This would be classified as "Epic Fail."

Cheap Computers

It is indeed a really daring step which Abby took, Abby although her boat rolled off still she managed to make a trip around the planet

Cheap Computers

Abby knows the good techniques how to safe. she did very well.WOW

cheap computer

What i think is that trying to circle planet is her first step towards success and such people always try until and unless they dont achieve their goal. This is an inspiration for those who want to achieve their goal.

Real Swift

The trip was a success.....that is if you measure success as sitting in a cabin eating bon bons & waiting for your next instruction as your parents & team operate the boat like a remote control toy with a human servo.

Chances are the boat will finish the journey on its own, returning to Marina Del Rey in a few months, in fact the chances of that are equal to or better than the chance an inexperienced girl would make blunder the boat around.

Her dad claims she made solo yacht deliveries at the age of 13. Sounds like bs to me, what boatowner would hire a company to deliver a yacht that would allow an unsupervised 13 year old to pilot it, when she can't even dock her own boat, nor sail it properly.

Averaging under well under 5 knots speed in a boat which could average 8 or 9 almost effortlessly when sailed by someone with experience shows she was over her head. Accidentally gybing within 1/2 mile after setting sail & almost colliding with the media boats who were following is yet another example.

Sorry, no biscuit.


Sorry to add my a comment so late after the publication date but I just came across the article.

I would say there was NO FAILURE at all in Abby's attempt to sail around the world.

She was only THWARTED by a freak of nature - the rogue wave that hit her. Otherwise, she should consider her trip as an accompolishment that very few people in the world have ever attempted.

The world now has 4 new heroes; brother Zac, England's Mike Perham, Australia's Jessica Watson and now Abby. All embarked on similar quests recently at the age of 16.

All but Abby managed to complete their quests. If it was not for the rogue wave that hit Abby she would have certainly joined her 3 teen counteparts.

I like Chris' idea for the 4 to have a around the world the race. Could have it in a variety of ways; America vs the world; brother-sister Sunderland vs Mike and Jessica; or two guys vs two girls.

Cheer up Abby, your 1/2 way around the world venture was NOT a failure. Now go complete the other half - when you're ready too.


They didn't lose Apollo 11. They lost Apollo 1. Apollo 11 was the first successful mission to land on the bloody moon! But why would people know that.

Anyways, its ridicules to compare the preparations of NASA, an entire generations worth of engineers, the wealth of the united states, as well as rigorously trained veteran pilots to the preparations of middle class southern California family and a sixteen year old girl.

I read accounts of veteran sailors who said it was insanity to try and sail the southern Indian Ocean by her self in winter. Not to mention the 300,000 dollars the Australian government spent looking for her.

Rupert Stilinski

I like Bryan's comments about the loss of the crew on Apollo 11. NASA learned lessons from that.

I'm certain Mr. Sunderland learned enough lessons to improve the mission and send the next youngest kid.


Richard comment is dead on, sure the girl was brave, sure she did something astonishing, but it is hard to over look some glaring deficiencies. First was the choice of boat, it was designed for racing, yes it sailed previously single handed around the world, by a MAN. The design required more sail, more sail & speed affected which autopilot they could use, and in the end these poor choice produced a disastrous result that nearly killed Abby. Next is the woeful lack of preparation of sailor and boat. Compared to the training and courses that Jessica Watson took to prepare, Abby's preparation was her dad testing her will in tough conditions, and previous weekend type sailing. No shake down cruise for the boat, why? The excuse was a tight weather window. But there was no problem staying 10 days in Cabo for repairs. Jessica's shake down cruise resulted in her colliding with a freighter while she slept, a mistake she would not make again in busy waters. The collision produced numerous safety additions for Jessica and boat. How about money, neither Zac or Abby's adventures were fully funded, so how many ways did Papa Sunderland go cheap, besides the initial electrical setup? Jessica's adventure was fully funded, plus the help of expert adventurers who made sure Jessica had all the right gear. Carefully read blogs and articles about preparations and you will see a huge difference between prep for Jessica vs Abby. Start with food preparations and you can easily see one difference, there are many.
Last listen to the father, check out all the videos and you will notice he says the exact same words about Zac's solo circ. and Abby's it is a script the father repeats multiple times. If it was about idea of fulfilling a quest, then departure time shouldn't have mattered. Though waiting a year while Abby and boat prepared would cost $millions in endorsements and story profits. Instead it was all about setting a record, to get at the big bucks which Papa desperately needs, nearly costing a young brave girl her life. Frankly who would want papa Sunderland preparing or building anything that had to do with a boat?


What Mother Nature threw at Abby only broke the boat's mast. It did not break Abby's spirit. However, it forged an impressive young lady into a person who knows she can do anything she wants, and into an incredible role-model. For the journalists, bloggers and critics that will surely attack Abby (and her family) like an unwelcome swarm of flies: keep your children safe and sound in the comfort of your home. Go buy them a new video game while you force-feed them twinkies and soda pop. They can then rise to the level of your expectations and accomplish absolutely nothing.

For those that say that the voyage was ill-timed, Abby wasn't experienced enough, the boat wasn't capable of the task, or whatever else these arm-chair quarterbacks say; thank heavens that none of you were working for NASA in the 60's. NASA did all of the preparation that they could think of. They lost the crew of Apollo 1 in that tragic fire. But, they forged ahead and improved the craft. Even with all of their preparation Neil Armstrong had to override the computer on the Eagle and land the Lunar Excursion Module manually with a mere 30 seconds of fuel remaining. People were inspired by such bravery and skill. Or, how about Apollo 13? Talk about a successful failure!

So, to the critics that will undoubtedly continue to verbally assault Abby and her family I have a suggestion for you. Leave the Sunderlands alone! Instead, go check on your own children to see if they need another Big Gulp and an additional box of Ho-Ho's.


It wasn't ONE wave. I think Richard said it best.


Number of bone fide offshore sailors who dismiss Abby's voyage as a "stunt" or selfish indulgent whim: very few.
Number of sailors who have doubled Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope or crossed the Indian Ocean who are dismissive of her ability or motives: ZERO.
If the pundits who so glibly judge this young woman could just spend only ONE night in a gale aboard a small boat thousands of miles from shore, I feel certain they would rewrite their posts!


Im gonna miss following these young ladies around the world reading their blogs as they go, I for one would like to see team Watson and Abby team up against Perham and Zac in a race around the world That would be great to see and follow...amazing young people

Mark Panitz

shes amazing! i wish i could meet her to shake her hand
and she will have some book for sure!


I don't think you are providing anyone with the inside scoop until you acknowledge the almost universal opinion within the real sailing community that this voyage was undertaken at the wrong time of year, with a boat that suffered from numerous problems as a result of insufficient testing and trail, by a woman who had little experience soloing this vessel. This whole trip was done to break a record, and that indicated that they rushed Ms. Sunderland off in a boat that they did not have a hint as to its electrical and fuel usage, that they did not understand how the auto pilots would interact with this craft, and they routed her dangerously south while in storms in the south Indian Ocean. This was a fools errand to break a record, and they almost killed this young woman who, aside from not being the experienced sailor you like to portray, trusted her father to know what he was doing. That was probably her greatest mistake.


At last - a journalist who sees the positive side. Abby is certainly not a failure - she did a remarkable job to get where she got. It only takes one wave to knock someone, anyone, out of the race through no fault of their own. Some things are not able to be controlled out there in the ocean. I admire her for having a go, and no doubt she will give it another go. and next time she probably will complete her goal. We have to back our adventurers - just imagine if there was a team of people telling Captain Cook not to venture forth. Good on you Abby.


I agree. The boat failed, not Abby. Abby was a success, she was well equipped and did the right things; Abby survived because she knew what to do.


Thanks Pete, for putting it all in perspective ..great post

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