Few will be able to forget when 16-year-old California native Abby Sunderland set out this year to become the youngest person ever to circumnavigate the globe solo and avoid having to work a summer job just like everyone else her age.
Beginning in Marina del Rey, where the lazy teen did everything she could to avoid picking up a few shifts a week as a greeter at Patagonia or—God forbid—deliver pizzas, Sunderland guided her 40-foot sloop Wild Eyes southward until malfunctioning power generators forced her ashore in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. On her second attempt, timed precisely to avoid the months when all the local landscaping places were hiring, she rounded Cape Horn and crossed the Atlantic. After a rogue wave destroyed her ship's mast in the middle of the ocean, Sunderland was rescued from an honest week's work some 2,000 miles east of Madagascar, and more than 5,000 miles from the nearest grease trap. After a summer spent trying to prove that exhausting physical obstacles are no match for human will, Abby Sunderland doesn't even have a decent line on her resumé.