Teen Ends Quest to Sail the World Non-stop

Abby Sunderland was trying to be the youngest person to sail around the world

By Michelle Wayland
|  Sunday, Apr 25, 2010  |  Updated 11:52 AM PDT
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Teen Sailor Returns After Roundtrip Record

Sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland could be the second teen in her family to sail around the world.

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A sixteen-year-old who set out on a quest to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone is being forced to stop after her auto pilot died.

“I am going to be pulling into Cape Town for repairs thus ending my non-stop attempt,” Abby Sunderland said on her website. “ I will definitely keep going, and whether or not I will make any more stops after this I don't know yet.”

The Southern California teenager said she’s about 10-14 days away from Cape Town.

“It would be foolish and irresponsible for me to keep going with my equipment not working well,” she wrote. “We're all holding our breath and hoping it will last.”

Sunderland was attempting to break the record briefly held by her older brother, Zac. The record is currently held by British teenager Mike Perham. Perham broke Zac Sunderland's record just months after Zac complete his round-the-world adventure.

Although disappointed, Sunderland is happy she tried.

“I gave it my best shot and made it almost half way around the world,” she wrote. “I admit I was pretty upset at first, but there is no point in getting upset. What’s done is done and there is nothing I can do about it.”

She called the trip an experience of a life time and has no regrets.

"I know that some people will look on my trip as a failure because of this, and there really isn't anything that I can do about that. When you're surrounded by critics it can be hard to remember your own goals and expectations, you start to judge yourself by what other people are saying,” she said.

Sunderland talked about how much she loved the high seas, her boat, her team, her sponsors and her faithful followers.

“This whole trip came from a dream, a dream to sail around the world, and that is what I am doing - youngest or not, non-stop or stopping,” she said.

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