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Teen Sailor from SoCal Ending Non-Stop Around-the-World Voyage, Will Keep Going Solo After Making Repairs

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Abby Sunderland, 16, looks out from her sailboat, Wild Eyes, as she leaves for her world record attempting journey at the Del Rey Yacht Club, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in Marina del Rey. (AP Photo/Richard Hartog)


Abby Sunderland, 16, looks out from her sailboat, Wild Eyes, as she leaves for her world record attempting journey at the Del Rey Yacht Club, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in Marina del Rey. (AP Photo/Richard Hartog)
After many weeks of struggling with problematic equipment on board the Wild Eyes, 16-year-old Abby Sunderland of Thousand Oaks announced she will be making a much-needed stop in Cape Town, South Africa, which will bring to an end her attempt to be the youngest person to complete a non-stop, unassisted solo-circumnavigation of the globe by sea.

"It would be foolish and irresponsible for me to keep going with my equipment not working well," wrote Sunderland on her blog yesterday. She has been relying on an intermittently-working auto pilot to get her by since she left from Marina Del Rey on January 23.

It will take her about 10-14 days to get to Cape Town, she estimates, but once the repairs are made, she says she's going to keep going.

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The teen has a positive outlook about making it almost half-way around the world solo, but falling short of her goal:

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. 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.

This is the experience of a life time. It's hard and sometimes down right terrifying, but I love it out here. My boat, my team, my sponsors, and you guys, my faithful followers are all great, and I am lucky to have you all on board. 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.

(h/t LA Observed)