Cruising World contributor Tania Aebi discusses the “youngest circumnavigators” in NPR interview

Tania Aebi was 18, when she set off to sail solo around the world in the 1980's. But as she discussed on NPR recently, that's relatively old compared to the kids (like 17 year old Mike Perham) that are completing solo circumnavigations these days.

September 4, 2009

Tania Aebi was one of the first “young circumnavigators.”

Tania Aebi was one of the first “young circumnavigators.” Tania Aebi

How young is too young to sail around the world? Last weekend, 17-year-old Mike Perham, became the newest, youngest, solo circumnavigator when he returned to his starting point in Portsmouth, England. He’s slightly younger than Zac Sunderland of California was when he completed his solo circumnavigation earlier this summer.

Now, 16-year-old Jessica Watson of Australia, is planning to set out this month, and Sunderland’s 16-year-old sister, Abby, is planning to start her solo attempt in November, and race around the world in 6 months.

Meanwhile, 13-year-old Laura Dekker from the Netherlands has had her plans to become the “youngest circumnavigator” delayed by the Dutch courts. The question is: Is it wonderful that these kids want to push the limits and experience real adventure (like Tania Aebi and Robin Lee Graham) or do you think their parents foolish, reckless, and just looking for publicity? Let us know what you think.


Click here to hear Tania Aebi’s interview on NPR.

Click here to join the Youngest Circumnavigator debate on CW’s forum.


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