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    Posted June 29, 2010 by
    Pixel
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    Marina Del Rey, California

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    Abby Sunderland... Safe, Strong & Speaking Out!

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Pixel told me, 'Whether people are in agreement with the Sunderlands or not, Abby's ability to sail half way around the world and address concerns and criticism is pretty impressive for a 16 year old.'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

       Abby Sunderland's first press conference in the U.S. was held today in Marina del Rey, California. In January Abby had sailed from Marina Del Rey with hopes and dreams of a different outcome. Abby, with brother Zac by her side, was able to address some of the concerns and criticisms. She was also able to share more details of her experiences out at sea, her problems, and her rescue.
       
       Abby's parents, Laurence & Marianne Sundeland were unable to attend the press conference because Marianne had gone into labor. The Sunderlands issued a statement to the press. They said "To hear the intensity of the personal hatred spewed by some in the media and on blogs was shocking to us. It crosses the line of human decency"  What was being said was, "based at best on twisting facts out of context and at worst on total fabricated lies".
     
       Although Abby's parents have received much criticism they remained supportive of Abby's attempt to solo circumnavigate the world. They feel confident in Abby's abilities as a sailor  and their decision to let her attempt sailing around the world. They are proud of her accomplishment.  When asked about the criticism her family is receiving, Abby said, "To be honest it is extremely hurtful." She goes on to say "It's sad to see some of it. I can't believe people would say something like that to anybody."
     
       Abby also addressed questions about a reality T.V. show. Abby said, "there will not be a reality T.V. show or a documentary" She is however, considering writing a book. Abby said "I have just been writing for myself. I loved  pretty much every second of my trip. I really don't want to forget all the great memories of that"
     
       Abby realizes there will be an adjustment being back on land, leaving the ocean, and her boat Wild Eyes behind. Possibly, getting her drivers licensee will be next. But for now she will enjoy her family and her new baby brother that was born today.... Paul in honor of the french captain who rescued Abby.
     
       Definition of a rogue wave:
     
       Jeff Casher said,"the concordance of two or more wave patterns coming together  from different directions and building up to incredible heights" When two waves come together at 20-30 feet they then can build to 40-50 feet. It is unknown how high the wave was that hit Abby's boat.
     
       A  Brief  History ...
     
       Abby Sunderland set out to solo circumnavigate the world January 23, 2010. Abby was attempting to be the youngest sailor to do this; non-stop and unassisted. Abby had difficulties along the way. She headed to Cape Town South Africa to get repairs done on her boat  Wild Eyes. Abby's father Laurence, brother Zac, and some of the members of her teamed worked to help prepare Abby for the second part of her journey.
    This would prove to be the most difficult portion of her trip. Abby was heading into the Indian Ocean at the beginning of winter. On June 10th Abby activated two of her emergency beacons  when a wave demasked  her boat. She lost contact with her family and a search and rescue began for the young 16 year old. She was rescued 3 days later off the Southern Indian Ocean. "She caught a bad wave", Laurence told me in an interview on June 11th. Abby was rescued by a French fishing boat and was brought to shore at La Reunion Island. Abby's brother Zac was there to meet her. They arrived back into Los Angeles June 28th. 

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