Feb 1, 2010, 10:23 AM
Post #1 of 3
Follow up to story in Scuttlebutt 3019
How young is too young to sail around the world?
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Mr. and Mrs Sunderland,
At what point do these attempts to be the "youngest" to sail around the world become wrong? How young is too young? 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 years old??? Pick a number. Where will this egotistical pursuit end?
More importantly, How? With your daughter’s death? Someone else's child? Some even younger child, motivated by similar egotistical motives and the lure of fame to attempt this ignoble, selfish, and disingenuous pursuit. You should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting any attempts at this idiotic "record", much less with both of your children. If these "record" pursuits continue, someone will die, and you will be partly responsible for advancing this pseudo "competition" for sole benefit of the recognition.
It is one thing entirely to have your children learn the benefits of single handing and the associated personal responsibility but you cross the lines of sanity and common sense when you allow it to become a pursuit of a "record" that will have a limit. We will find out how young is too young and that will be a sad and unnecessary day.
Are you prepared to reimburse any and all parties that might be involved in a rescue? Are you prepared to let your daughter die rather than request others to go save her if she gets in trouble? Should others risk their lives in a rescue attempt when Abbey starts screaming "I want my mommy" form the southern ocean? Should any of the rest of the world even lift a finger at all? I think not. It turns my stomach to think that others might lose their lives attempting to save a child who should never have gone in the first place. And let's be clear, no matter how mature and talented she might be, she is still a child and the next attempt will likely see someone with even less maturity.
Do not suggest that this is similar in any way to adults going voyaging on the ocean. The very fact that it is a pursuit of a "record" attempt to be the youngest and that you support it as such makes it not only disingenuous but immoral. If one cent of my taxpayer dollars goes towards a rescue, I will be first in line in coming after your money.
If it is a legitimate topic to ask whether fully grown highly experienced adults should singlehandedly race around the planet, then it is just plain ignorance and hubris to keep sending ever younger children only to one day find out how young is too young.
And to any and all sponsors, beware of that which you support. You are as guilty as the parents and will share in the responsibility.
Howard Bentley San Francisco