California girl, 16, seeks sailing record

Updated: January 24, 2010, 10:27 AM ET
Associated Press

[+] EnlargeSunderland
AP Photo/Richard HartogAbby Sunderland prepares to leave Saturday in Marina Del Rey, Calif.

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- A 16-year-old has set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Abby Sunderland of Thousand Oaks sailed into the sunny Pacific Ocean on Saturday after being delayed a few days by a series of violent storms in California.

Her boat-builder father, Laurence, along with other family members and friends cheered at the Del Rey Yacht Club as they watched the 40-foot craft called Wild Eyes depart.

She plans to be at sea for five or six months. She will be alone but able to communicate via satellite telephone and a blog (at abbysunderland.com).

The current record holder is 17-year-old Mike Perham of Britain, who took the mark last year from Abby's then-17-year-old brother Zac.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press