Abby Sunderland Quits Around-the-World Sail Record Attempt

Abby Sunderland says auto pilot needs repair, doesn't consider trip a failure.

ByABC News via GMA logo
February 10, 2010, 4:45 PM

April 25, 2010— -- Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old California girl who was trying to become the youngest person to sail solo nonstop around the world, has given up her attempt to set the record, she said on her blog.

"I have some big news today. It's not necessarily good news, but the way I look at it, it's not bad either," Sunderland posted Saturday. "I am going to be pulling into Cape Town for repairs thus ending my non-stop attempt."

The problem, she said, was that her main auto pilot was broken, and after discussions with her team, she decided she needed to get it fixed.

"It's one thing to sail across an ocean with one well-working auto pilot, it's another to keep going with one that is not at all reliable," she wrote.

She said she expected to reach Cape Town, South Africa, in 10 to 14 days.

Though she's given up the attempt to go nonstop, she said she would continue her sail after getting the auto pilot repaired, and she has worked through her disappointment.

"I gave it my best shot and made it almost half way around the world," she wrote. "I will definitely keep going, and whether or not I will make any more stops after this I don't know yet. I admit I was pretty upset at first, but there is no point in getting upset. Whats done is done and there is nothing I can do about it.

"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," she wrote. "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."

Sunderland began her trip Jan. 23, sailing out of Marina del Rey, California, in the open 40-foot racing yacht Wild Eyes. She said she expected it to take six months.