« Abby Sunderland saga remains as stormy as ever | Main | Reporter who sailed with Abby Sunderland shares perspective »

Jun 15, 2010


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Regarding the storm and the Southern Ocean, ABBY said "I was up for it, and my parents knew I was."

I suppose that's why OLDER and STRONGER brother Zac who sailed a smaller and safer boat avoided the deep Latitude of the Southern Ocean and the Winter where Abby sailed in a larger 40 foot racer that the manufacturer said was difficult to handle and was more suitable for a strong man.
What did Abby do to reduce the load on her mast in the approaching storm? On her blog she says she was trying to start the engine, wasn't the sail configuration the imperative here?

Kay Cottee’s 34 foot yacht was knocked down off the coast of southern Africa in 100 knot winds and 70 foot seas. She was washed overboard and saved by two safety lines that harnessed her to the boat. I doubt that weather satellite photos were around in her era.
The Sunderlands seem ignorant of incidents and accidents in this ocean.
I admire Abby's courage, but she and her advisors made poor choices and poor choices have consequences.


Losing a mast at sea is like breaking your boots bushwalking, annoying, Expensive and painfull but not neccesarily dangerous. A competant sailor would have taken stock, cut away any dangerous sections of mast. Then waited for the wind to ease before jury rigging the boat abe limping home. A competant sailorwould not have fired of both epirbs at the first sign of trouble. Age is not the problem here, it's a new epirb induced " rescue me" culture.

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