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Old 14-01-2010, 17:08   #61
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Excerpts from Abby's January 14 blog (http://soloround.blogspot.com/):

"Tuesday afternoon with the rigger, electrician, and camera man on board....
everybody hopped off of Wild Eyes, and I was off for a good sea trial alone!...."

[She returned the next morning after a sleepless night]

"We are looking into why the autopilot went out and also why the alternators weren't charging the batteries. So it looks like I wont get out by Saturday which is not that bad because there wasn't going to be any wind anyway."
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Old 20-01-2010, 20:49   #62
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Abby Sunderland's departure has been announced for Saturday morning at Del Rey YC:

Abby's Blog: Departure Set
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Old 23-01-2010, 18:36   #63
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And she's off!

16-year-old girl sailing around the world - 1/23/10 - Los Angeles-Southern California-LA Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports - abc7.com
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Old 25-01-2010, 20:35   #64
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Let's put Abby Sunherland's travels in her thread and leave Jessica's thread for her own journey. I've retrieved this thread for that purpose.
If it is felt that this thread got off to a bumpy start, feel free to begin a new one.

I've a question for you route mangers. Will Abby's later start have her rounding the Cape's in more adverse conditions than Jessica will face?
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Old 26-01-2010, 11:14   #65
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I've a question for you route mangers. Will Abby's later start have her rounding the Cape's in more adverse conditions than Jessica will face?
I'm not a route manager and I've never been in the Southern Ocean on a sailboat. But some factors to take into account:

1. Abby's route through the Southern Ocean is shorter than Jessica's and Abby has a much faster boat.

2. By all accounts late summer is likely to be rougher than early summer.

3. Jessica had remarkably tame conditions for those waters. She was accutually becalmed for awhile below 55 South. The worst she encountered was 44 knot winds in 5 meter seas and that was for less than a day. Not tame by most standards, but it probably is for the Southern Ocean.

I think it is highly likely that Abby will encounter worse.
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Old 26-01-2010, 13:16   #66
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What kind of weather can an open 40 take? Jessica was apparently rolled 180 degrees when hit by rogue waves during 8hrs of 70 knot winds.

Personally I would feel better in the S&S
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Old 26-01-2010, 13:42   #67
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What kind of weather can an open 40 take? Jessica was apparently rolled 180 degrees when hit by rogue waves during 8hrs of 70 knot winds.

Personally I would feel better in the S&S.
A Class40/Open 40 is designed for extended open ocean racing. They can and have survived extreme conditions. However, there are no guarantees, especially when a boat gets knocked down. The following is an account of a Class 40 which suffered what sounds exactly like Jessica's double knock down to 180 in 10 meter waves but in "only" 40 knot winds:

Abandon Ship - Sailing Anarchy Forums
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Old 26-01-2010, 16:03   #68
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What kind of weather can an open 40 take? Jessica was apparently rolled 180 degrees when hit by rogue waves during 8hrs of 70 knot winds.

Personally I would feel better in the S&S
They each have their advantages, but I'd probably prefer the Open 40. The extra speed and performance would offer many more options, if you can sail it well. Safety-wise, it's cat zero and built to face conditions like that. The Class 40 boats are significantly wider than Abby's Open 40, so Abby's should self-right a lot easier than the one in slomotion's link.

It's not an easy boat to sail, but I expect Abby's boat will be de-tuned a little from outright race trim, since her aim (non-stop unassisted) is not based on speed but on reliability.

The disadvantages of the Open 40 are less to do with conditions and more to do with reliability - there seems to be much more to go wrong with a higher-tech boat. Just look at their results in races: when they go well, they go brilliantly, but there are always a high percentage of withdrawals due to gear failure.

The other big disadvantage of course is cost - you can get hold of an S&S34 for around $35K but you're looking a minimum five times that for an Open 40, and sometimes more like ten times. I suspect that was a strong factor in Jessica's choice.
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Old 26-01-2010, 16:42   #69
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for clarification purposes only

Complete opposite actually.

1. Abby's boat cost just under 90K, Jessica's if recollection is correct from Don's article 65K or or negotiated it down to 55K. Abby's budget is/was 150k from her sole sponser. Jessica's 350K. Don's theme in his article is how to do this for 100K, (which at the end of the day wasn't done). Add/subtract that Abby's dad is a certified ship-wright out of some Royal British Technicon who with his ship building "buddy's" can custom design in the blink of any eye and fabricate and install a hard dodger on an Open 40, which has never been done, certainly saves a some dollars and total costings involved.

2. Reliability of the Open 40 is down to it's pilot and I quote taken from a comment on Abby's blog from the original owner and the previous owner as to it's sea-worthyness (or reliability).

Quote:
Boat In General

previous owner:

"Having sailed numerous times on Wildeyes (former owner), she is by no means a "questionable" boat. Yeah, the 40s are slow, which is why the BOC dropped them, but they are very seaworthy. However, she is a bitch to try and get going up wind. Overall, she is a good boat, extremely well built, and without a doubt will be able to take her around, the only thing that can stop the boat from going around again (as Alan Paris' BTC Velocity for 2002 Around Alone) is Abby."

original owner:

"Abby's boat was designed and built for the Around Alone 2002 - 2003 yacht race in which I sailed her around the world.....slowly !! In many ways this boat is solid as a rock and built to an old IMOCA Class 50 ( yes Class 50 ) rule which includes 110% bouyancy, inverted instability rules, 5 water tight compartments blah blah. There is kevlar in the entire hull as well as 3 large sections filled with foam.

Downwind in 60kts she is just fine ( my highest velocity was just over 60 ) Upwind she is useless and requires great care. So Abby if one of your friends or family reads this, be VERY conservative of lee shores and expect to be able to at best attain a close reach of 80 degrees AWA."
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Old 26-01-2010, 19:04   #70
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Complete opposite actually.

1. Abby's boat cost just under 90K, Jessica's if recollection is correct from Don's article 65K or or negotiated it down to 55K.
Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't thinking specifically in terms of Abby's and Jessica's boats, more about what I might choose.

Jessica's cost AUD$55k which was around US$35k at the time I think, and you can certainly still pick up an S&S34 for around that price. For Abby's I was relying on the yachtworld advertisement which originally had it listed around $230k, then reduced to $135k... If she got it for $90k, that's an excellent deal. I remember there were other Open 40s on the market in better shape for around $350k- $500k at the time earlier last year.
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Old 26-01-2010, 22:37   #71
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Would it be difficult for a young lady of sixteeen years old to handle this type of boat in adverse conditions?
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Old 27-01-2010, 09:38   #72
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Would it be difficult for a young lady of sixteeen years old to handle this type of boat in adverse conditions?
Well, according to the original owner the boat was designed and built for a solo circumnavigation and it successfully completed one. Apparently, the boat has sailing characteristics to windward which make it a handful for anyone. But, Abby isn't just anyone. She is a highly experienced sailor and knows what she is doing. In adverse conditions there are times when great physical strength can be an advantage, but stamina is usually more important.
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Old 29-01-2010, 01:17   #73
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But, then, what do I know?
I’m just an over-the-hill CLOD poseur, living out what's left of my bitter life through my keyboard.
Ain't that the truth?

I think it's fair to start the following dissertation with the an assertion that either of the girls are probably more likely to get killed on dry-land than they ever are at sea. Further, both girls are clearly capable of doing what they are setting out to do. However, between them I have noticed significant differences.

First, of course, is the type of vessel. Jesse is aboard a rugged S&S with pretty much standard everything. Abby, on the other hand, is on a regular handful of a boat, complete with mylar headsail. I do have to ask why?

Yes. I accept her rig is very low-aspect for this type of vessel, and that's a good thing, but everything about her boat is fairly high-tec, whereas Jesse has a lot of low-tech, with some high tec.

And so I have to question the decision of those who made the decision, of sending Abby around the world in a fast, hard-to-handle vessel, rather than the Jesse version.

Like, what's the point?

After all, she's not going for a youngest-ever speed record. She can't now be the youngest because Jesse is four months younger; which, BTW, Abby knew before she set sail.

No. I think Abby just wants to do it for her...and of course he resulting kudos.

I can but presume that Abby has had a fair amount of sailing experience. But has she had it on a boat like an Open 40? I doubt it given the buy-time bio of the boat.

Jesse has also had a lot of sailing experience but she's on a solid plodder.

And so I am somewhat perplexed about what Abby expects to achieve, in terms of some record.

However, my perplexity, or even the lack of her ability to set a potential record (if age is the record dictate then Jesse is ahead) does not detract, one wit from the fact that this young lady is fast heading toward the Southern ocean, by herself, on a sail-boat, and short of bailing out by calling for help, she is a solo navigator, taking on far more than most sixteen year-olds would ever contemplate. And, may I add, more than most on this site would contemplate.

It is kids like Abby and Jesse who hold the world's future in their hands. Our future when we become to old and inane to do much more than pretend to be deaf yet have another wipe our bums.

Far from protecting them against any and all potential hazard, it is folk like this to whom we must support in their dreams and efforts.

It is they who set the example. Not the critics.

Lastly; I have suggested to Abby that she could set one record by stopping directly over Point Nemo, which is on her route, and going for a swim. I suspect she will be a) the only female, b) the only teen, and c) probably one of a select handful of folk who have ever had a quick soak at a point farthest from any land and with about 6,000ft of water below.

I hope she does it.

But, even if she does not, her safe arrival at her home port will mark a day to which only an elite group can claim collegiacy. Solo circumnavigators.

Hopefully Abby will complete her solo navigation; Jesse certainly will.

And given I have had two sixteen year olds who turned out to be very ordinary, and that's okay because that is their right, I remain absolutely in awe of what both these girls are doing.

They are getting up and doing it. Not sitting around criticising.
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Old 29-01-2010, 02:37   #74
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After all, she's not going for a youngest-ever speed record. She can't now be the youngest because Jesse is four months younger; which, BTW, Abby knew before she set sail.
Jessica is five months older than Abby.
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Old 29-01-2010, 07:27   #75
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Anyone know if Abby has a wind vane, or just an electric autopilot? I didn't see a vane on the stern, but maybe it's a different style or something?
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