16-year-old Girl Starts Solo Sail Around Globe

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- A 16-year-old has set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Abby Sunderland of Thousand Oaks sailed into the sunny Pacific Ocean on Saturday after being delayed a few days by a series of violent storms in California.

Her boat-builder father, Laurence, along with other family members and fiends cheered at the Del Rey Yacht Club as they watched the 40-foot craft called Wild Eyes depart.

She plans to be at sea for five or six months. She will be alone but able to communicate via satellite telephone and a blog (at abbysunderland.com).

The current record holder is 17-year-old Mike Perham of Britain, who took the mark last year from Abby's then-17-year-old brother Zac.


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  • by stan Location: G'ville on Jan 25, 2010 at 08:27 AM
    Is she taking High School on line? I would love my daughter to much to allow this before she turned 18 and then only with great reservation.
  • by John Location: Greenville on Jan 25, 2010 at 07:07 AM
    Sick of hearing it, I agree 100%
  • by Sick of Hearing It Location: Not Buying It on Jan 25, 2010 at 06:20 AM
    Better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep ... I'd rather BE dead than be like some of you who think you have to legislate for everyone else. If you want to live your lives cowering in fear of the possible, be my guest ... but why impose your own insecurities and uncertainties on those who dare to be different ... who dare to do something. This young lady embodies the American spirit; kudos to her and her folks. Let her be; she's free. As for the rest of you, back in the pens!
  • by ace Location: plymouth on Jan 25, 2010 at 05:02 AM
    Ballon Boy and now Boat Girl. If she dies will the parent be tried for child neglect?
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jan 25, 2010 at 03:17 AM
    I guess with all the cutbacks, the DSS is no longer in control of how parents raise their kids????? Around here the DSS gets in your business for not buying branded shoes and clothing for kids.
  • by CherryCracker Kool-Aid Location: CA on Jan 24, 2010 at 08:03 PM
    What is a child? In this society the legal definition is under 18 UNLESS emancipated, which is just a process of paperwork. You can be emancipated younger than this amazing young lady. Don't hate just because you're too old to do what she's doing now. The dominant culture on this continent is actually quite backward when it comes to promoting strengths of intellect, wisdom, and achievement in the very young. We cripple them by expecting them NOT to progress beyond their peers and categorizing them in age classes, rather than by individual goals and rewards. If she's got the skills, and the lack of fear, GO GIRL! God bless the internal fire that makes someone WANT something that bad! You don't get to turn around and be 16 again once it's gone. Tom: "Balloon boy" was a hoax. This is a personal quest. Don't try to diminish it by comparing it to someone who committed a crime.
  • by southern man on Jan 24, 2010 at 08:02 PM
    I guess at 16 school is no longer an issue.Good luck
  • by hard knock life on Jan 24, 2010 at 06:05 PM
    Lets hope she doesn't run into any pirates!! I agree with Lew Farmville, our tax dollars will probably be used to rescue this "child"
  • by Lew Farmville on Jan 24, 2010 at 05:09 PM
    This is really cute--UNTIL SHE IS KILLED OR LOST AT SEA!!!! What kind of idiot parents would let a child do this??? I'm sure they will say-- well, she wanted too, and she is very capable--duh, it is called being a parent, you are supposed to take care of child and keep them from doing foolish things. At worst she will die, at best, it will cost some rescue team millions of dollars and maybe the life of one of their own--CRAZY!!!!
  • by Keith on Jan 24, 2010 at 04:36 PM
    This is foolish. I would not let my teen daughter sail around the world by herself.
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