Doomed to fail? Of course it was! To the determined youngster's credit, she made it as far as Cape Town, South Africa this time before the need for repairs forced her to stop. Still undeterred, she decided to continue her journey unassisted even if she wouldn't be able to say it was completed without stopping, because that's still a pretty cool thing to be able to say you did as a teen.
Here's the thing, though, it's not the public's responsibility to make sure teens get to do cool s**t. So when Abby Sunderland finally failed in a more catastrophic, "stranded in the Indian Ocean" kind of way, why was it the public's responsibility to see to it that she was rescued?
Before you get your pitchforks out, please understand, I'm not saying she shouldn't have been helped at all. Of course you send someone out to save her, she's still technically a kid. I am, however, saying that's why you save her. It's not her fault her parents don't give a s**t if she dies in the ocean. If you're an adult who willingly puts yourself in the path of danger just to accomplish some worthless goal, though, I'm less sold on the idea that you deserve public intervention. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but nobody asked you to sail around the world, buddy. We haven't needed your kind of services since spices were hard to come by.