According to the New York Post, the father of 16-year-old sailor Abby Sunderland had cut a deal to have a reality TV show shot about his family and filming had already began before her attempt to sail solo around the world was cut short by storm damage to her boat. Abby was rescued in the Indian Ocean, but her parents, Laurence and Marianne, have been criticized for letting someone so young set out to sail around the globe alone.
Magnetic Entertainment is already promoting two shows on its website based on the Sunderland family: “Adventures in Sunderland” and “Abby’s Journey.”
Laurence Sunderland told the Post that he’d pitched the idea of a TV show about his family for some time, but there wasn’t much interest until his daughter began her attempt to sail around the world in January. Her older brother, Zac, had already sailed around the globe at 17, making him the youngest person to do so.
In all, the Sunderlands have seven children, with number eight on the way. They live in Thousand Oaks, CA.
RBR-TVBR observation: Is Abby Sunderland an average teenager? No. She is an extremely experienced and competent sailor. Letting her set out to sail around the world is arguably less risky than letting the average teenager drive the family car to a friend’s house a few miles away.