Originally Posted By: Erik_B

doesn't seem to me that her age was a factor here. her mast got blown off. what's her maturity, or the fact she's 16, or how far from land she was, got to do with that?

A better example might be the decision to end the record attempt when the "nav" (GPS?) units both failed. She initially swapped parts to get one working but then decided to stop in Cape Town to get them fixed. I'm sure there was plenty parental guidance over the satellite phone, but she abandoned the record attempt then, boat intact.

The one poor decision I see appears to be a case of "go fever", not exactly unknown in adults (hello Apollo 1). I suspect the reason she was crossing that area in a bad weather season was that if she waited until after the season she might not have broken the record (which, ironically, she had already abandoned by the time she got there). There's lots of blame all around if this is the case, but at least she didn't set sail before she & the boat were ready.

At what point does survival earn one a "good prep" badge instead of a put down and a Rx for "don't do that?"

This will be a huge advantage in the future with job/college applications. She's taken a very large, very hard and very long problem and dealt with it. Compared to the job applications I used to see, which gave no hint of life skills beyond that of a burger flip, this is stellar. No hint of "raised on MTV & ESPN" here.

PS. And I like the fact that she's still on an "even keel" despite everything. An AP report quoting her after rescue: "The long and short of it is, one long wave, one short mast."