Abby Sunderland Gives Jessica Watson Stiff Competition at Sea

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Sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland can't drive a car, but on Saturday, the California native set sail on a trip around the world -- by herself. If she succeeds, she'll become the youngest person to complete the feat alone.

Sound familiar? That's because Abby is right on the heels of 16-year-old Australian-born Jessica Watson, who launched her around-the-world sea expedition in October. Jessica is due to return home in April or May, while Abby will be at sea for five or six months (she's not making any stops).

If both girls complete their journeys, Jessica will only be the record-holder for one month before being upset by Abby, who is five months younger than the Australian sailor. Crazy, right?

As we previously reported, 17-year-old Mike Perham is the current record holder for the youngest person to sail around the world. And guess who held the record before that? Abby's older brother, Zac, who was 17 when he scored the title.

"Every little kid wants to be a doctor or a princess or a firefighter," Abby said at a press conference before she set sail. "But watching my own brother go out and actually do it; it really made me realize that you can do things like this."
Like Jessica, Abby will using a satellite telephone to communicate, and will be documenting her experience on her blog AbbySunderland.com. Watch the Cali girl (and her family) talk about her big trip in this interview with the L.A. Times below.

Tags: abbysunderland jessicawatson

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