Please select your home edition
Lloyd Stevenson - Artnautica60 728x90px TOP

Teen sailor Abby Sunderland to round Cape Horn Tuesday

by Nancy Knudsen on 28 Mar 2010
Abby - about to round the Horn. photo William Bennett ASC and Ted Caloroso SW
16-year-old Californian sailor Abby Sunderland, following Jessica Watson in her attempt to be the youngest non-stop circumnavigator, is only a couple of days away from sailing around her first big milestone, Cape Horn.

Her father has flown to the most southerly city in the world, Ushuaia, on Argentina's island of Tierra del Fuego to try to make contact with Abby as she passes the infamous Horn. To organise this he was helped by Jessica's family, who did the same thing a couple of months ago, overflying Jessica in a chartered aircraft.

Abby's father plans to sail south with 'some of the locals' to rendezvous with Abby, but the weather is expected to dictate whether this is possible or not.

Normally this rounding would be the toughest part of the voyage, but Abby has left her run so late that the other two capes could be challenging as well.

Already the cold and the damp are making their mark on the intrepid teen as she copes with ongoing autopilot problems. A recent night was spent hand steering in confused seas and freezing temperature, when she could get neither of her autopilots to function.

'It was really a very miserable night outside with freezing waves crashing over the boat, pouring rain, and 30-40 knots of wind,' she said later, 'Cold holds an entirely new meaning for me now. I don't think I will ever complain about being cold again, not after that night!'

The next day Abby was able to connect the screen of one autopilot to the controls of another, so for the moment, she has one complete and working system. The autopilot is critical to Abby as she does not have a wind steering device on board. The voyage would be thrown into jeopardy without a working autopilot system in these conditions.

Abby's late run were not due to bad planning, but due to her earlier difficulty with finding a suitable and affordable yacht to undertake the challenge in time to depart earlier in the season.

Abby began her journey on Jan. 23 when she sailed out of Marina del Rey. Within a week she was experiencing power problems as her batteries could not cope with the power drain from the autopilots in addition to her other power requirements like navigation lights and satellite communication.

She pulled into port in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where she was met by her support team who installed more batteries and remedied other problems. She left there Feb. 6, restarting her nonstop adventure. After Cape Horn, Abby will head northeast into the South Atlantic and past South Africa.

Abby left California some three months after Jessica Watson. Jessica is faring well, having passed under both Cape Horn and the southern tip of South Africa, and has 'only' 1400 miles from arriving under the coastline of Western Australia.

Even though Jessica left three months before Abby, the Thousand Oaks sailor still has a five-month age advantage over the Australian. Abby was born Oct. 19, 1993, while Jessica was born May 18, 1993.

Abby also is traveling on a faster Open 40 sailboat while Jessica is using a more classic 34-foot boat. No matter which one sets a record, it could soon be broken by Laura Dekker. The 14-year-old Dutch girl plans to set sail later this year on her own around-the-world trip in a Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch.

Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW FOOTERZhik 2024 February Outlet - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER

Related Articles

The Iron Lady of Dubai: how to win the SB20 Worlds
Dubai witnesses first woman to win the Worlds, and with a 50% female team Team Kidzink of Charlotte, Pippa, Artem and Gonçalo marked not only the first UAE victory in the competition, but also a historic moment as Charlotte Borghesi became the first female helmswoman to claim the championship with a 50% female team.
Posted today at 1:40 pm
World Sailing publishes Olympic Vision
To steer the sport through to Brisbane 2032 World Sailing has published its Olympic Vision strategy which is aimed at strengthening the sport's contribution to the Olympic Movement.
Posted today at 12:22 pm
Charles Caudrelier take the crown
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild wins the Arkea Ultim Challenge - Brest At the helm of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, the skipper of Gitana Team wins this race of pioneers, completing his first solo circumnavigation of the globe in 50 days 19 hours 7 minutes, 42 seconds at an average speed of 23.74 knots.
Posted today at 12:14 pm
Cup Spy Feb 27: Kiwis return to off-axis seastate
Today was Day 67 on the Hauraki Gulf for Emirates Team New Zealand sailing their AC40/LEQ12 Today was Day 67 on the Hauraki Gulf for Emirates Team New Zealand sailing their AC40 hull set up as a LEQ12 test boat. The team appear to have fitted new sensors and maybe cameras onto the foils. Of course, they needed some adjustment.
Posted today at 11:46 am
Caudrelier wins the Arkéa Ultim Challenge-Brest
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finishes the solo multihull race around the world French solo racer Charles Caudrelier, skipper of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed the finish line off the coast of Brest, this Tuesday morning at 8h 37mn 42s local time (UTC+1hrs) to win the ARKEA ULTIM CHALLENGE-Brest.
Posted today at 8:39 am
Cup Spy Feb 26: Swiss get roughed up
Alinghi Red Bull Racing sailed their AC75 and renewed their acquaintance with the Barcelona seastate The Swiss challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing was the only one of the six teams to be accompanied, on Monday (CET), by the AC37 Joint Recon program
Posted on 26 Feb
Back with a vengeance
Categorically been on the Mixed two-handed offshore bandwagon from the beginning Categorically been on this bandwagon from the beginning. Flag bearing, card-carrying, full-blown trumpeter. Mixed two-handed offshore. You might argue it had a wee false start, but it just was a bridge too far at the time
Posted on 26 Feb
2024 Melges 15 Winter Series Event 2 concludes
The event witnessed tight racing across the divisions The Melges 15 Class concluded its second of three Melges 15 Winter Series events this weekend in Jensen Beach, FL. With 78 boats on the starting line and a full range of challenging conditions, the action was intense up and down the leaderboard.
Posted on 26 Feb
American Magic announces transformative agreement
Partnership signifies a monumental stride in pursuit of building a premier sailing franchise American Magic, the US Challenger for the 37th America's Cup, proudly unveils a landmark collaboration with the City of Pensacola.
Posted on 26 Feb
The Famous Project crew set for Atlantic challenge
This Transatlantic passage is an important stage in training up the team Fresh from an excellent third place on the RORC Caribbean 600 race and multiple training laps around the island of Antigua itself, the seven strong The Famous Project crew will leave Antigua for their first all-female ocean passage across the Atlantic.
Posted on 26 Feb