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Old 11-06-2010, 10:50   #76
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Originally Posted by dennisjay View Post
I don't recall reading a similar thread when Abby's brother — who was the same age at the time — did his record-breaking circumnavigation. Could it be that because this child's a girl that there's now concern of sending children to sea? Just wondering.
No, I think it was because the ages kept on decreasing that it became important on this forum.

I don't care if its a boy or girl neither should be down there.

Other thing is I don't think the names or the particular people are relevant, this week Abby, last week Jess, the individuals are not important to me in the debate. They probably are all great people. It really is important to draw a line somewhere for all people. As soon as one brings in personalities the arguments get wierder.. saying, say one 12 year old has more experience than another 12 year old. Nor do I care about some countires age restrictions. This girl was from the USA, so its by their law, not Australian. However these trips must be non-stop as these people would not be allowed to leave port if they stopped in most countries.


However, back to your post, I think the media prefer they are girls. IMHO they even sexualized the 6 year old 'pilot' killed a few years ago in the USA. I find this modern version of fame disgusting.


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Old 11-06-2010, 10:50   #77
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I looked up the specs on her Open 40

7407 lb displacement
Yikes! I didn't realize they were that light. These boats are essentially flat bottomed twin rudder, racing sleds. They work because they have extremely deep stick and bulb keels. Abby's is 10 feet long.

It always struck me as odd that "Team Abby" chose to go with this kind of boat. Her brother sailed a clunky old 1972 Islander 36; Jessica used a 1984 S&S 34 - both extensively refit, of course. Obviously, a decision was made to emphasize speed over a conventional slow-but-strong design. This kind of made sense in light of the whirl wind refit and late start. Ironically, until the last week or so, Wild Eyes never displayed much speed - probably because of the prior autopilot issues. Had the boat been and stayed "right" from the beginning, Abby might already be in the Pacific.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:57   #78
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I don't recall reading a similar thread when Abby's brother who was the same age at the time did his record-breaking circumnavigation. Could it be that because this child's a girl that there's now concern of sending children to sea? Just wondering.
I'm sure that's a part of it. It's sort of a universal culture thing for men to be seen as more adventurous, more capable and more expendable.

But I think it's the race towards the younger and younger which is upsetting people the most. It just so happens the recent attempts have been made by girls instead of boys.

One huge issue is that when you're doing something dangerous you need to be able to take the proper precautions and really understand the risks. I don't think that has to be an age related thing. A young person could have the experience, skill and character to do a trip like this or other equally dangerous things.

The problem comes in with the whole youngest record thing, because these kids must leave at a certain point otherwise they'll miss their chance. It's not like they can say "Oh, I'll do it next year" since that'd be too late. So it can be very very tempting to take additional risks to make that once in a life deadline.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:16   #79
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The problem comes in with the whole youngest record thing, because these kids must leave at a certain point otherwise they'll miss their chance. It's not like they can say "Oh, I'll do it next year" since that'd be too late. So it can be very very tempting to take additional risks to make that once in a life deadline.
You are exactly right, and I think, directly or indirectly, this is a big part of why Abby's attempt ended this way. I don't know, of course, but I suspect that the original idea was not to use a boat like Wild Eyes. For whatever reason, "Team Abby" got caught short and was running out of time. For this reason they decided to get a go-fast boat. The boat was not purchased until late October - about when she most ideally should have been setting sail. It was on the wrong coast and had to be sailed/transported to the Pacific. It was late November before they started refitting and they had to rush it to beat the record and the season.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:22   #80
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It always struck me as odd that "Team Abby" chose to go with this kind of boat. Her brother sailed a clunky old 1972 Islander 36; Jessica used a 1984 S&S 34 - .
They had to go with that sort of boat otherwise she would not go fast enough to 'break' the 'record'
she started much olde rthan JW, I understand... but I really don't follow the news on them.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:32   #81
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When I was 12, growing up in L.A. I decided that I had to get to Catalina Island, 20 miles away. I figured I could row across on a calm day and since I didn't have a boat I would use my mother's redwood planter box from under the kitchen window (it was a big box). I designed a paddlewheel setup using galvanized pipe so I could pedal instead of row and announced my plans, promising to replace the flowers when I got back. I was astounded when my mother said "no". Not only that, but knowing how I was she added that she would have the Coast Guard drag me home if I tried anyhow.

Like Abby I was young, adventurous, had a dream and was determined to carry it out. Unlike Abby I had a mother whose parenting skills overcame her ambitions.

Later, when I was 21, I was determined to sail from Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands. I bought a Hobie Cat and sailed from Gaviota to Santa Rosa Island on a day with small craft warnings up. I had not gotten any smarter in the past 8 years, but I was chronologically an adult and my mom didn't know about it until I got back.

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Old 11-06-2010, 11:40   #82
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The record thing is disturbing, and rightfully so, to us salt and pepper haired folks whose scars are now old friends, these many years later.
Step into the shoes of a 16 year old that knew the challenge she was accepting, and apparently accepted that challenge willingly. I think all young people automatically compete to be the best.
If the record is what made the decisions, then I have to also step to the side of caution. If that is the case, then older heads than 16 made the mistakes that doomed this voyage.
Betcha she is figuring how to salvage the rig when help gets there!
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:41   #83
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I certainly hope she is safely rescued but I do not agree with sending children out to sea alone. Its a bad precedent to send younger and younger children out to sea in order to set a record of some sort.

They are children for gawds sake...not lab rats to run tests on to see at what age the first one dies.

For those who support this type of activity, face it, the younger they are, the greater the chance of death. Why on Earth would someone support sending younger and younger children out to sea? At what age does this end? Only when someone dies will this sort of record breaking stupidity stop.

Sorry, but I am pretty passionate about endangering children like this. Its pretty easy to predict that this will stop only after a child has lost their life.
I am a libertarian and am against the idea of a nanny state which protects us against ourselves, and tries to eliminate all risk from life.

NEVERTHELESS, I fully support David's argument. Children are not the same as adults. And there is an unsavory element of parents using their children, putting them in considerable risk of their lives, for the sake of fame and setting records. In my opinion, it's simply not right.


Thank God Abby's all right, and let's hope she's picked up soon.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:42   #84
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They had to go with that sort of boat otherwise she would not go fast enough to 'break' the 'record'
she started much olde rthan JW, I understand...
Indeed - Abby was 3 months older when she set out, than Jessica was when she departed.

Abby, born October 19, 1993 set sail on January 23, 2010 at 16 years, 3 months old.
Jessica, May 18, 1993 set sail on October 18, 2009 at exactly 16 years old.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:43   #85
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Now it not the time, unless you are an attention whore!

Plenty of time later for the second guessing.
I haven't been on this site for quite awhile and would like to weigh in on the criticism of this brave and talented young ladies parents.

Before anyone responds, I would like you to think about some of the risky behavior that parents everywhere allow their children to engage in. As an example, there are tens of thousands of kids between the ages of 8 and 16 that ride dirt bikes every day......I won't even bother doing the research on how many of those young people get maimed or killed in the act.

The preparation for this trip was nothing short of remarkable IMO and I have sailed those waters many times as a delivery skipper and sailing around the world twice in 14-years. That boat is first class and it appears that all of the equipment on-board was 1st class. The boat itself is all but un-sinkable and she has food and water for months on-board.

I also am unclear as to the reasoning behind the June crossing of the Indian Ocean. I wouldn't do it but more because I am in my 60's and wouldn't want to put up with the discomfort more than anything else.

When I heard that the EPIRB had been activated after several knock-downs, it was obvious to me that the vessel had been dis-masted. I was not concerned until I read that the "Personal EPIRB" had been activated. That was a sign (to me) that she may have been injured. If she was not injured, it's apparent that fear took over. The personal EPIRB should not have been activated unless her life was in imminent danger (severe bleeding, fallen over-board, running out of food/water). IMO....that was a simple, understandable mistake that may have been done by any one of us. I think that her age mattered little in that case. I am willing to bet that she realized her mistake, seconds after activation.....you just cannot undue that though. I refuse to believe (unless told otherwise) that she wasn't trained in the proper use of the 2 EPIRBS.

I feel that this young lady is courageous and talented way beyond her years. How many of us could have made it as far as she did? If not for equipment failure, I have no doubt that she would have made the entire trip without a hitch. She went through the worst of it without a whimper (as far as I can tell). Most people would have been bawling like a baby in 50kt winds and 50' seas.

I firmly believe that these parents recognized the courage, determination, skill and talent of their daughter. It appears that they spared no expense in prepring for this journey.

ANY person that points a finger at the parents or this young lady must get a grip on reality and understand that people of every age take risks in extreme sports. There is ALWAYS the possibility of becoming injured or dying. I feel that this trip, as it was prepred and planned was FAR safer than a lot of sports that are out there and participated in by young people with the encouragement of their parents.

Has it been that long since Robin Lee Graham sailed his 25' "Dove" around the world with none of this preparation and 1/100th of the safety of this vessel? He was my hero for so many years and the inspiration of my first circumnavigation.
I would encourage some of the nay-sayers to read that book. At one point, Robin was dis-masted and took around 30-days to limp to the closest harbor. If it were not for modern technology, I'm convinced that Abby would have done the same.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:48   #86
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as a matter of fact...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisjay View Post
I don't recall reading a similar thread when Abby's brother who was the same age at the time did his record-breaking circumnavigation. Could it be that because this child's a girl that there's now concern of sending children to sea? Just wondering.
...two full years ago this week, when Zac set up his web site announcing his intent to circumnavigate, here's what our very own Markj had to say about the venture: "IMHO its a sickeningly stupid idea taking a child away from his friends and comforts a teen needs at a cruitial time. I've seen many 'stage mums' and this is exactly the same."

The problem here is that one stunt generates another in a spiral to see who can be the youngest. And now we've had two 16-year girls try it, the net result being that both have suffered dismastings. One runs into a ship, the other attempts a winter crossing in a time and place that prudent sailors avoid. The first suffered seven knockdowns. Seven! We don't know how many knockdowns the second suffered, but we know it was one too many for a boat that wasn't designed for such abuse.

At its best, sailing is an art worthy of celebration. At it's worst, it's degenerated into over-publicized stunts. The only thing to celebrate here is if the youngster walks away alive.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:50   #87
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Kanani,

Well said.

And, this young lady's not spending her days & nights twittering, tweeting, texting, or trolling the Internet where she could be prey to the thousands of perverts who hang out there :-)

Bill
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:52   #88
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Indeed - Abby was 3 months older when she set out, than Jessica was when she departed.

Abby, born October 19, 1993 set sail on January 23, 2010 at 16 years, 3 months old.
Jessica, May 18, 1993 set sail on October 18, 2009 at exactly 16 years old.
Obviously, you meant Jessica set sail at exactly 16 yrs. 5 mo. of age. But, Mark's point is essentially correct. "Team Abby" needed a go-fast boat because they were running out of time to make it through the Southern Ocean before the southern fall/winter.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:56   #89
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And now we've had two 16-year girls try it, the net result being that both have suffered dismastings.
???? No, Jessica was not dismasted - her custom mast/rig proved to be unbreakable. Knockdowns are not necessarily a measure of seamanship. They are a measure of how perilous it is to go nonstop solo sailing for months in the some of the world's most remote and dangerous seas.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:57   #90
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I wonder. . .

. . .how many of these children or even adults that attempt such a passage woud do so if they KNEW that help from CG, ships, foreign countries, etc. could not or would not be able to help them if they got in a fix? Of course we will never know. In the back of their minds must be the assurance that help will always be on the way! I am thinking that this fact must alleviate some of the concern.

Glad she is OK.
********************

I didn't realize that Joshua Slocum lined up a book deal prior to his voyage. In fact, it was my understanding that most people did not even believe that he even took the trip. Anyone know what is true?

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