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Old 06-02-2010, 12:53   #106
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(I'm assuming we both mean "go very fast" in its positive connotation.
For sure - I've become an Abby fan. She needs to deal with the ITZ and the Humbolt current. But, with a little luck and if the boat is right, I think she can make the Horn in less than a month.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:03   #107
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Going very fast seems to be her preoccupation from the threads she 's posted thus far...I thought she was trying to solo circumnavigate and that it wasnt a race.
The list of repairs reminds me of the coach of the Auistralian Cricket team when they finally lost the Ashes trophy to England some years back. Over a two month tour he talked endlessly in jargon and psych speech,never once mentioning 'cricket bat or ball, or 'batting or bowling'.
Abbys blog gives no impression, at all, that she's actually using a yacht for her circumnavigation. Does she have sails, a mainsheet block,a boom vang or, for that matter, a wheel or tiller to actually helm the boat herself?

Good luck to her, it's a brave venture. I doubt she'll complete a non stop voyage.
One question I'd like to ask the rule officianados. Is the age thing determined by the time of set-off or arrival at the set-off point?


Hmmmmm> I also wonder about the haste accompanying this attempt. Surely, just Abby getting around the world on her own is triumph enough for a child.

If she does achieve, according to the rule, the youngest to do it....this year, then there's still a big 'so-what' sitting behind her efforts; given that some 12 year-old will soon be in the frame to repeat the exercise.

Her father, in his blog, asserted issues about weather-windows...and also went on at great length to subtely justify a whole bunch of things.

But, surely, there are no preordained weather-windows. The weather comes as it comes, and nature has no interest in a scrap of a girl wishing to compete.

But I was heartened to see Abby had a 2/3rds reef in, in what was clearly under 15Knts. So, at least, she's being cautious.

But at the end of the day I see huge pressures on this kid to achieve more than just a solo navigation which, in itself is a huge accomplishment.

Mind you, I did watch little Connie Talbot, age six, compete in the Britain's Got Talent, show, and wondered what sort of a life the kid would have even if she didn't win.

Do the parents lead, or do the kids push?

Dunno. I can but hope the best for Abby.
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Old 09-02-2010, 20:59   #108
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But at the end of the day I see huge pressures on this kid to achieve more than just a solo navigation which, in itself is a huge accomplishment.

.
I agree dpex...

I think there was more then God at work choosing this boat..there seems a bent toward speed from this campaign for some reason. I too am glad she is taking it easy form the get go...and would not chide her if it was that way the whole way.
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Old 11-02-2010, 00:06   #109
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No doubt you've all seen Abby's latest post and challenge. 50 knot winds ahead! She's obviously and reasonably concerned.

But I wonder if she has a Jordan Series Drogue.

Given that dollars are not 'quite' as freely available to me as they are to Larry El, I ended up making my own JSD. The individual cones are made of cheap, reinforced plastic sheeting. And I couldn't afford the suggested Spectra rope, so good old braid had to do.

My old banger weighs in at about 12 tonnes. I have 147 cones on my JSD.

I tried it out, recently, in about 35 gusting. Wind against the tide, in a shoaling passage, so the sea was steep and nasty.

Went bare poles. Chucked it out and waited. The wait was bit frenetic till the JSD took up, but when it did?

The old girl just kind've sat there. Bum to the sea. Sure, I took a bit of water over the poop, but nothing serious.

The stress on her ladyship was minimal as was her movement.

Prior to tossing out the JSD I'd turned downwind....well, slightly across wind....with a bit of main (2 full reefs) and just enough headsail to see. And it was like being in a washing machine.

When she settled on the drogue I went below and made a cup of tea.

I hope Abby has one of these. They're recommended by US Coast Guard. She hits 50 knots in that boat and she's going to need something to settle the boat down.

Let's hope that she has one or she misses the bad weather.
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Old 17-02-2010, 21:45   #110
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Sometime in the next day or two, Abby will cross the equator into the southern hemisphere, at which point she is committed to her 'round-the-world, single-handed, unassisted circumnavigation. She's been making good time since leaving Cabo San Lucas, and once she completes her transit of the ITCZ she should quickly resume her quick pace.

So far as I am aware, there has been no resumption of the electrical difficulties that forced her to put in at Cabo for necessary repairs. Hopefully, that will prove to have been a permanent fix.

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Old 17-02-2010, 21:51   #111
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I just read her blog. How exciting?
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Old 17-02-2010, 22:07   #112
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For what it's worth

Just to kind of put a different spin on this. I spent several years in my mis spent youth racing motorcycles. Like most in my time, I didn't even start racing till I was in my early 20's. In those days, there were no 50cc mini bikes. No hi-tech boots and helmets. You had to be a pretty good sized boy to kick start a 250cc flat tracker. Kids now start racing at 5 or 6 years old, have 85cc mini's that will run rings around the 250's I started on. Suspension and all their equipment is worlds better than anything I could have dreamed of. And by the time they reach teen age, they have more experience than many pro riders of my era ever had. I think the same basics can be applied to sailing. They start much younger, and have much better equipment than most of us had years ago. Hell, I was amazed when I saw my first Loran C unit. Roller furling, what is that. That is not a yea or nay on whether or not a 16 year old should attempt a single handed circumnavigation. Just a reminder that things change, and some of us don't really realize how different they are.
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Old 17-02-2010, 23:39   #113
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Just to kind of put a different spin on this. I spent several years in my mis spent youth racing motorcycles. Like most in my time, I didn't even start racing till I was in my early 20's. In those days, there were no 50cc mini bikes. No hi-tech boots and helmets. You had to be a pretty good sized boy to kick start a 250cc flat tracker. Kids now start racing at 5 or 6 years old, have 85cc mini's that will run rings around the 250's I started on. Suspension and all their equipment is worlds better than anything I could have dreamed of. And by the time they reach teen age, they have more experience than many pro riders of my era ever had. I think the same basics can be applied to sailing. They start much younger, and have much better equipment than most of us had years ago. Hell, I was amazed when I saw my first Loran C unit. Roller furling, what is that. That is not a yea or nay on whether or not a 16 year old should attempt a single handed circumnavigation. Just a reminder that things change, and some of us don't really realize how different they are.
I know exactly what you mean. My first sail boat (my age about 7) was a 7ft pram dinghy equipped with an 8ft piece of dowel attached to which was one of my mothers window blinds. Only ever went down hill. Later I did Sea Cadets and then got a crew birth (age 11) on a 23ft keeler with no motor.

Back in those days (late 50s) any sailor found with a motor was most often ostracised. We knew our place back then. You spoke when asked to comment. Touched what you were asked to touch, and got the biff for talking or touching prior to being asked.

Also, back in those days if you wanted a boat you either built it yourself or had it built by hand and paid cash. And sailors of all hue knew exactly what they were doing at all times.

Then some dopey bugger invented GRP at about the same time the first hire-purchase company started in Auckland. Within five years of these two events any jerk with 5% deposit could get a production boat and be on the water with zero apprenticeship time. The rocks and bars and islets around the Auckland Harbour and Hauraki Gulf frequently welcomed new guests.

Having completed a boatbuilding apprenticeship during the early 60's I started my own business in the late 70's, building plywood Optomists. I could make a profit yet still put a kid in an Opti for under NZ$400 (he had to paint it).

Nowadays? A carbon-fibre, second hand Opti costs? Yup, about NZ$6,000.

And you're right about bikes, too. I still race a 600cc Yamaha which can just cap out (before valve-flutter) at about 250K's. It's a 1995. The 2010 equivalent will do 330K's all day long. I don't win races.:--)) But I still have a hell of a lot of fun.
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Old 19-02-2010, 20:13   #114
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Two weeks out of Cabo San Lucas, Abby crossed the Equator today at 3:07 pm, at 120 15 W.
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Old 22-02-2010, 16:59   #115
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There's a nice mention of Abby (and Jessica) in the current Los Angeles Times Outposts section of the Sports page. You can see the story and some nice pictures of the young ladies here:

Sailors Abby Sunderland, 16, crosses the equator; Jessica Watson, also 16, nears southern point of Africa | Outposts | Los Angeles Times

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Old 22-02-2010, 17:17   #116
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Two amazing young ladies..Thanks Tao.
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Old 25-02-2010, 06:48   #117
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Not to be too critical, but is that not the sloppiest reef you've ever seen?!
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Old 25-02-2010, 08:06   #118
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Yeah, kind of odd that's when she was just headed out I believe and would have had time to set the reef properly. But maybe with the commotion it just got half done.
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Old 27-02-2010, 13:50   #119
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Chile earthquake tsunami

Abby is directly in the path of the tsunami, now sailing roughly half-way between Hawaii and Chile. From what I can determine, it has already passed under her, but she is in very deep waters. She writes on her blog that she didn't notice anything at all.

Abby's location
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Old 27-02-2010, 14:06   #120
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Looks like she's moving along pretty smartly now that she's south of the Equator and through the ITCZ--800 nm over the last four days.
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