Abby Sunderland, sister of Zac, hopes to set sail next month to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe
Less than a year after her brother, Zac Sunderland, became the youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo, Abby (16) from California will set out in yacht Wild Eyes – an Open 20 – to make sailing history.
“My brother, friends, family and even several letters from strangers have made me aware of the power and dangers of the oceans, but I’m up for the task,” said Abby. “I’ve been sailing my whole life and am just as prepared to do this as many adults. It is doubly reassuring that Wild Eyes has sailed around the world before. She is built for circumnavigation and has made it around just fine. There will be tearful and restless nights for sure, but we will make it through.”
Abby intends to make the trip in five to six months, and expects to return to California in spring 2010. Her trip coincides with the journey of 16-year-old Australian Jessica Watson.
Abby is currently training by sailing Wild Eyes with her father and Zac on a 1,000-mile voyage from Newport, Rhode Island, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Once returning to Marina Del Rey, Wild Eyes will be outfitted with new sails, complete with room for names and logos for current and potential sponsors.
Abby, still in need of sponsors before setting sail, continues to remain steadfast, determine and confident. “There was never a time when I thought this wasn’t going to happen,” she said.