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Old 02-07-2010, 14:56   #316
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G'Day All,

One doesn't have to use an imaginary incident w/ Sir Robin to illustrate the potentials here. Australian Alan Nebauer, skipper of "Newcastle Australia" in the '94-'95 BOC race was dismasted 600 miles west of Cape Horn, deep in the Southern Ocean. He then recovered enough wreckage to fabricate a jury rig and CONTINUED RACING, rounding the Cape and continuing to the Falklands where he stopped to pick up a second hand, poorly fitting mast that had been sent out from old Blighty. Continued on towards the next stop in Uruguay and hit a floating object, tearing off the rudder. Rigged a jury rudder and arrived just with enough time to rig a new rudder and make the next start.

Now Alan wasn't 16, and had lots of experience to draw upon as well as physical strength that Abby likely lacked... but he too confessed to being driven by a lifetime dream of singlehanding around the world. Difference is that he had had a life with some time in it!

So, other options were surely available to Abby, but I still think that she was correct in giving it up. She was beyond her abilities to continue and rather reasonably wanted to live to sail again someday. This does not mean that she should have been there in the first place.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly, Qld, Australia
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Old 02-07-2010, 15:13   #317
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I firmly believe that all the great solo nonstop or near nonstop circumnavigators were crazy. Being crazy didn't make them great. Many crazy (whether qualified or not) people have tried and failed. Nevertheless, being crazy seems to be a necessary but not sufficient requirement. It is not a bad thing. It is part of why some circumnavigators are considered great. And, yes, Alan Nebauer qualifies.
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Old 02-07-2010, 16:12   #318
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I've been looking at Abby's early blog entries, and you know, she wasn't always "crazy". In July 2009 she said her aim was to leave around July 2010, which seems pretty sensible in terms of seasons and preparation time. She would have had a reasonable chance of beating Mike Perham's record on that schedule, and done the Capes at the right time of year. In September 2009 she even says that timing is important and that she needs to train on the boat (not yet purchased) for as long as possible before leaving.

She was aware of Laura Dekker, but since she was already an old maid in comparison there wasn't much she could do about Dekker's speculated voyage. But she seems not to have known that Jessica Watson had also announced plans for a similar voyage—14 months earlier.

At some point I think she belatedly became aware of Jessica (she first mentions her in October 2009, one week before Jess's departure, but 17 months after Jess first announced her plan on her blog.) (It's worth noting that Jess left 3 weeks earlier than she originally planned, even after losing a few weeks due to the dismasting — Was she sensing competition?)

Anyway, after this Abby starts talking about a 2009 departure, but the schedule is tight and there are many delays. In December as the boat is pulled out for a refit she says a 2009 departure is not certain, but clearly she is in a hurry by now. In the end, despite a couple of months of delays, she sets off 6 months earlier than she had originally intended, and at a time of year when good luck, never the most certain of companions, starts to be a significant factor in a southern circumnavigation.

If a pink cloud hadn't appeared on the horizon, I think she might have done ok. But she let herself get caught up an a big rush, in order to keep a date with a youngest round record, and well, we know the rest.
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Old 02-07-2010, 16:58   #319
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If a pink cloud hadn't appeared on the horizon, I think she might have done ok. But she let herself get caught up an a big rush, in order to keep a date with a youngest round record, and well, we know the rest.
I agree. And as some other posters on this board would have it, if she had just left early enough and towed something called a Jordan Series Drogue, she would have slowly gone around slick as you please. No rogue wave could possibly have hurt her. To the extent that may be true, it is indeed a sorry state of affairs. Because it takes all the craziness out of it.
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Old 02-07-2010, 18:14   #320
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I've been looking at Abby's early blog entries, and you know, she wasn't always "crazy". In July 2009 she said her aim was to leave around July 2010, which seems pretty sensible in terms of seasons and preparation time. She would have had a reasonable chance of beating Mike Perham's record on that schedule, and done the Capes at the right time of year.
~~~~~~~~~~
. But she seems not to have known that Jessica Watson had also announced plans for a similar voyage—14 months earlier.

At some point I think she belatedly became aware of Jessica (she first mentions her in October 2009, one week before Jess's departure, but 17 months after Jess first announced her plan on her blog.) (It's worth noting that Jess left 3 weeks earlier than she originally planned, even after losing a few weeks due to the dismasting — Was she sensing competition?)

~~~~~~~~

If a pink cloud hadn't appeared on the horizon, I think she might have done ok. But she let herself get caught up an a big rush, in order to keep a date with a youngest round record, and well, we know the rest.
Mike finished at 17y 5m 11days. Abby had until 1 April 2011. If she started 1 August 2010 that's 8 months. Tight but possible, even in a sensible boat (not sure the idea of having her father design it would be all that sensible)
But Mike's had already become a stopping voyage, and starting in 2010, she had well over a year to beat Jesse Martin for non-stop.

By 7 August the boat had become an Open 40. My judgement is that this is also the time they learned about Jessica Watson and decided on 2009.
Recently Abby has claimed that she and Jessica announced about the same time and those announcments pushed both of them to rush. Blatently silly. Even ignoring many mentions of Jessica in sailing news, Jess formally announced on 13 May, well before Abby

I'm thinking they saw, on the intertubes, one of Jess's Q&A sessions at the July Sydney International Boat Show, and are considering that "Jessica's announcement". And from appearances, Jess already had a little pink boat ready to go at the start if the weather window in September

[Sidebar: although Jessica's original plan was for a early November start. that was when she was planning go straight across the Southern Pacific. An earlier start would have got her to Cape Horn too early. So by now her announced plans were mid September]

And Team Sunderland knew that
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August 18, 2009 (AP) The sailing Sunderlands of Southern California are at it again.
~~~~~
Abby Sunderland turns 16 on Oct. 19. If her family can pull together the funding and logistics, she wants to leave Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area in early November.
~~~~
Australian schoolgirl Jessica Watson, 16, is scheduled to set sail in September in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world.
Hence the Open 40. If Jess was going to take 7-8 months starting in September. Abby needed to do it in 150-170 days, starting Early November to get the exciting photofinish.

From Early August it was always Chasing Jessica Watson for Team Sunderland

Ealy November, that's 10-11 weeks away. What planet are these people from [Does anyone know the code for the interrobang?]

(edited 'cos I forgot about October)
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Old 02-07-2010, 20:22   #321
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I firmly believe that all the great solo nonstop or near nonstop circumnavigators were crazy. Being crazy didn't make them great. Many crazy (whether qualified or not) people have tried and failed. Nevertheless, being crazy seems to be a necessary but not sufficient requirement. It is not a bad thing. It is part of why some circumnavigators are considered great. And, yes, Alan Nebauer qualifies.
Well I think a good many famous people were probably a little on the crazy side for trying the things that made them famous. Take Lindberg for instance. Flying solo in a single engined plane with no navigational instruments besides a compass, no auto pilot to relieve him of having to actively fly the plane the whole way, no radio should he have problems and have to ditch, and having to navigate the entire distance by dead reckoning. More than a few people said he was crazy to even consider a solo transatlantic flight, particularly after several others had already died in the attempt. And he was under similar pressure to get going before one of the competition beat him to the prize. One has to wonder, if Abbey had made it, would we even be having this conversation?
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Old 02-07-2010, 23:44   #322
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G'Day All,

One doesn't have to use an imaginary incident w/ Sir Robin to illustrate the potentials here. Australian Alan Nebauer, skipper of "Newcastle Australia" in the '94-'95 BOC race was dismasted 600 miles west of Cape Horn, deep in the Southern Ocean. He then recovered enough wreckage to fabricate a jury rig and CONTINUED RACING, rounding the Cape and continuing to the Falklands where he stopped to pick up a second hand, poorly fitting mast that had been sent out from old Blighty. Continued on towards the next stop in Uruguay and hit a floating object, tearing off the rudder. Rigged a jury rudder and arrived just with enough time to rig a new rudder and make the next start.

Now Alan wasn't 16, and had lots of experience to draw upon as well as physical strength that Abby likely lacked... but he too confessed to being driven by a lifetime dream of singlehanding around the world. Difference is that he had had a life with some time in it!

So, other options were surely available to Abby, but I still think that she was correct in giving it up. She was beyond her abilities to continue and rather reasonably wanted to live to sail again someday. This does not mean that she should have been there in the first place.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Manly, Qld, Australia
Apart from the last sentence I believe you provide a fair synopsis.

The 'should' or 'shouldn't' part is a minefield. That she got as far as she did suggests a fair old amount of courage and skill.

Should she have been in those lats at this time of year? Hindsight suggests no, but had she made it hindsight would have a different view.

Should have been there due to age? I don't think that's a feature.

Should she have been there to demonstrate to millions of otherwise dissolute teens around the world that there 'is' more than sex'n drugs'n rock and roll? Or just for her own satisfaction? Absolutely.

Was the vessel's rig scantlings too light for an inexperienced single-hander? Probably.

But to liken modern anyone to the likes of Lebauer, or Chichester, Shackelton, et al, is fascile. Despite my many years on the sea, plus all of the older-world experience I gained as lad and youth, I doubt I could come close to achieving or surviving what the above mentioned did.

All-in-all, I believe Abby gave it a really brave shot but was turned over by conditions beyond her reasonable control....Hers and about 7.99999999 billion other folk on this planet.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:14   #323
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Apart from the last sentence I believe you provide a fair synopsis.

The 'should' or 'shouldn't' part is a minefield. That she got as far as she did suggests a fair old amount of courage and skill.

Should she have been in those lats at this time of year? Hindsight suggests no, but had she made it hindsight would have a different view.

To me, hindsight (and in fact foresight) suggests that she was overcome by sea conditions that are NORMAL for the area and season, and hence she should not have been there at that time. So, no, I still don't think that she should have been there.

Should have been there due to age? I don't think that's a feature.

But age was a big factor in her rush to depart and to continue, and hence was a factor in the loss of her boat. Had she not been driven by her (or her parents) desire for her to be the "youngest..." she could have waited to depart in the next seasonal weather window, and have had a far greater chance of success.

Should she have been there to demonstrate to millions of otherwise dissolute teens around the world that there 'is' more than sex'n drugs'n rock and roll? Or just for her own satisfaction? Absolutely.

As a role model for other teens, I reckon that highly publicised feats that feed on hype and instant fame prior to successful completion are perhaps not the best example. To me, Jessica Watson's voyage was a far better accomplishment to hold up as worthwhile for the teens of the world.

Was the vessel's rig scantlings too light for an inexperienced single-hander? Probably.

But to liken modern anyone to the likes of Lebauer, or Chichester, Shackelton, et al, is fascile. Despite my many years on the sea, plus all of the older-world experience I gained as lad and youth, I doubt I could come close to achieving or surviving what the above mentioned did.

All-in-all, I believe Abby gave it a really brave shot but was turned over by conditions beyond her reasonable control....Hers and about 7.99999999 billion other folk on this planet.
'Nuff said.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:54   #324
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Should she have been there to demonstrate to millions of otherwise dissolute teens around the world that there 'is' more than sex'n drugs'n rock and roll?.
Ah dpex your showing your age here, yes they still do sex and drugs, but the rock and roll is a thing of the past. My son is a classical music composer, which is like totally shameful to his 58 year old rock and roller dad.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:47   #325
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To me, hindsight (and in fact foresight) suggests that she was overcome by sea conditions that are NORMAL for the area and season, and hence she should not have been there at that time. So, no, I still don't think that she should have been there.
You know who agreed with that? Abby, before cape Horn

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50-60kt winds and 30-40+ seas may be an experience, and Wild Eyes and I would come out alright, but its not worth risking my whole trip.
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Old 03-07-2010, 16:43   #326
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Should she have been in those lats at this time of year? Hindsight suggests no,
Foresight also suggested no though. Indeed some were worried about the seasonal timing even before she'd started her voyage. In my case, I generally supported her giving it a go, but by Cape Town I'd changed my mind as she'd missed her weather window for the next leg so I felt she was really pushing her luck too far. Of course, if she had made it through I might have changed my mind with hindsight!

Some people are sticking to their foresight guns though, e.g. the infamous guy who supplied Jess's Rutland gennie maintains even now that neither girl was up to doing a RTW journey and that they both simply "got away with it". (In Abby's case he means got away with her life.)

Incidentally these days it's sex & drugs & hip-hop.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:49   #327
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Anyone care to guess or estimate where, when or if Wild Eyes will turn up? Or what is the most likely scenario? Davey Jones' locker?
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:45   #328
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I've been looking at Abby's early blog entries, and you know, she wasn't always "crazy". In July 2009 she said her aim was to leave around July 2010, which seems pretty sensible in terms of seasons and preparation time. She would have had a reasonable chance of beating Mike Perham's record on that schedule, and done the Capes at the right time of year. In September 2009 she even says that timing is important and that she needs to train on the boat (not yet purchased) for as long as possible before leaving.

She was aware of Laura Dekker, but since she was already an old maid in comparison there wasn't much she could do about Dekker's speculated voyage. But she seems not to have known that Jessica Watson had also announced plans for a similar voyage—14 months earlier.

At some point I think she belatedly became aware of Jessica (she first mentions her in October 2009, one week before Jess's departure, but 17 months after Jess first announced her plan on her blog.) (It's worth noting that Jess left 3 weeks earlier than she originally planned, even after losing a few weeks due to the dismasting — Was she sensing competition?)

Anyway, after this Abby starts talking about a 2009 departure, but the schedule is tight and there are many delays. In December as the boat is pulled out for a refit she says a 2009 departure is not certain, but clearly she is in a hurry by now. In the end, despite a couple of months of delays, she sets off 6 months earlier than she had originally intended, and at a time of year when good luck, never the most certain of companions, starts to be a significant factor in a southern circumnavigation.

If a pink cloud hadn't appeared on the horizon, I think she might have done ok. But she let herself get caught up an a big rush, in order to keep a date with a youngest round record, and well, we know the rest.
A lot there, I think.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:01   #329
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A lot there, I think.
Indeed. The only thing that I would add (in partial defense of Team Abby, I guess) is that they had every reason to believe that the boat would go much faster. Presumably, part of the reason it didn't was erratic autopilot performance. Mike Perham in a larger but similar style boat had the same kind of problems - what are the chances of that happening on boats that are supposedly designed for this kind of sailing? Ironically, it looks like they finally got the autopilot thing sorted out in Cape Town. After that, Abby was racking up 200+ mile days, but it was too late.
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Old 06-07-2010, 14:05   #330
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Will Wild Eyes turn up?

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Anyone care to guess or estimate where, when or if Wild Eyes will turn up? Or what is the most likely scenario? Davey Jones' locker?
I'm sure hoping that Wild Eyes does turn up, maybe on the West Australian Coast. You would presume that in leaving the boat the companion way hatch at least would have been left open. General opinion of good seamanship seems to indicate that a few seacocks should also have been left open but I have heard no word on that. If Wild Eyes does eventually get discovered afloat, it's another lesson to distressed sailors that you don't have to hit the EPIRB and risk emergency services at the first sign of panic. Imagine if Abby had just decided to stay with the boat and ride the winds and currents to the West Coast of OZ. I think it just might have been possible and certainly not a crazy solution. Sure her parents would have gone ballistic with worry, but that might have been a good reality check for them. If she survived it and it took her 6 months to get there this forum would have forgiven her poor timing and appluaded her determination to find a "single handed" solution. She would be going home a hero despite her failed circumnavigation attempt.

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