16 year old sailor too young?

Today, a CNN.com poll asks the question:

Is 16 too young to attempt to sail solo around the world?

68% say “yes”–16 is too young while 32% say “no,” it’s not too young.

The real answer to the question is “it depends on the particular 16-year old person you are talking about.”

If we envision the 16-year old being the average kid we see walking to high school or hanging out in the mall, the answer is probably “yes”–she is too young.

But, if you look at Abby Sunderlund’s training, maturity, technology, preparation, know-how and skill, you would probably have to answer “no.”

At one stretch of her trip, Abby had a run without seeing land for 103 days.  It takes a special person to be able to achieve that.

I applaud Abby for her bravery, skill, tenacity, guile and ability.  Bravo, Abby–Bravo!  And, I applaud her parents for recognizing that chronological age isn’t the most important criteria in determining a person’s readiness for such an adventure.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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