Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Both Teen Sailors Off Course

Australian teen Jessica Watson has encountered four story high waves and is being forced to seek calmer seas, diverting her and her Pink Lady from the planned course according to news reports and her blog.

Meanwhile, American teen Abby Sunderland announced on Saturday that she has spent way too much time on tech support with the manufacturers of her faulty auto pilot device, and she is being forced into port for repairs (also covered in this article on Tonic.)

While this was never technically a race, the two teenagers have been simultaneously trying to become the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world. But both young women have had to make difficult choices over the past few days, and both have made the safe choices and should be commended for that.

Unfortunately, after stopping for repairs, Abby's voyage will no longer be labeled "non-stop" or "unassisted".

Jessica's trip may take longer than expected with the current weather the Australian is facing, but she is still expected to reach her finish line within days of her 17th birthday - May 18th - and thus claiming the world record as the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world.

Keeping things interesting, Abby is braving on and plans to continue her trip after her stop in Cape Town. And since the American is a few months younger than Jessica, Abby still has a chance to claim the record as the youngest person to sail around the world. This accomplishment, even the attempt itself, is quite impressive – even without the "non-stop" or "unassisted" labels.

We wish the best of luck to both these brave adventurers as they continue on their dangerous journeys... which you can track on their respective blogs from the comfort of your home.

On the web:
Abby Sunderland’s blog

Jessica Watson’s blog