Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Abby Sunderland Quits Around-the-World Sail Record Challenge!

Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old Californian hoping to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone without stopping, must pull into Cape Town, South Africa for boat repairs, she writes on her blog.

"I gave it my best shot and made it almost half way around the world," Abby writes.

Still, the indomitable teen who set sail on January 23 will continue her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world once her 40-foot boat's auto pilot is fixed.

"I will definitely keep going, and whether or not I will make any more stops after this I don't know yet," she writes. "I admit I was pretty upset at first, but there is no point in getting upset."

Abby's older brother Zac, 17, briefly held the title of the world's youngest sailor to solo circumnavigate the globe after completing his journey in July. A month later, 17-year-old Brit Mike Perham snatched the title from Zac. Both made stops along the way.

Abby's stop in Cape Town arises out of safety concerns. "It would be foolish and irresponsible for me to keep going with my equipment not working well," Abby writes. "I'm about 10-14 days from Cape Town right now and though my auto pilot is working for now, we're all holding our breath and hoping it will last."

Aussie Jessica Watson, 16, looks like she will soon become the youngest round-the-world, nonstop solo sailor. She is expected to reach Sydney Harbor in May. You can follow Abby's incredible journey at abbysunderland.com.

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