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Teen sailor Abby Sunderland gets talent agent

Rescued teen sailor Abby Sunderland has hired a talent agent and will use her public profile to "inspire others to follow their dreams,'' her spokesman said.

Sunderland, 16, signed Lyall Mercer, head of an Australian-based public relations and talent management firm, to handle her business affairs. Mercer had been serving in a pro bono capacity as Sunderland's spokesman for the last few weeks.

Public fascination over Sunderland's aborted attempt to sail around the world by herself has raised her profile significantly, Mercer said in a statement released this week.

"Abby is very marketable,'' he said. "She is popular across the world, has followed her dream, overcome challenges and survived. She is an inspiration."

Mercer debunked media reports that Abby is on her way to personally thank her Australian rescuers. The teen is resting at home with her family and a new baby brother after a "huge few weeks,'' Mercer said.

A future trip to Australia is possible, he said. Other than a media conference, Abby's only public appearance since returning to her Thousand Oaks home was at a Fourth of July parade in Duarte, he said.

Sunderland was plucked from the Indian Ocean by a fishing vessel last month after her 40-foot-sloop Wild Eyes  was hit by a giant wave and lost its mast. Supporters hailed the girl's adventurous spirit, but detractors criticized her parents for allowing her to take the trip.

-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: Abby Sunderland with her brother Zac Sunderland answer questions during at a press conference in Marina del Rey last month after she returned home following her attempt to sail around the world. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (11)

What on earth is her "talent"?

Well this sure was inevitable. For those of you who defended "poor Abby" as an adventurous spirit just pursuing her dream, admit that you were suckered into a con. Maybe now you'll see the light. This was just a money-and-fame grab by her parents, pimping out their daughter and putting her in dangerous circumstances all for publicity and fortune.

The PR guy said it best: "Abby is very marketable." Don't kid yourselves, that's all this was ever about. She is this year's Balloon Boy, only she was put in very real danger. Gee, maybe next summer, I'll drive out to Iowa and put my 5-year-old daughter in the path of an F5 tornado...if she survives, we'll make millions!

So that family did show what their true goal was all along. It was never about the sailing.

"Public fascination over Sunderland's aborted attempt to sail around the world by herself has raised her profile significantly, Mercer said in a statement released this week." .... and when you say aborted attempt, you mean failed, right?

Marketable as what? A pinata?

Abby? Marketable as what? A pawn in her father's game? A gullible uneducated young girl lacking the skills necessary to properly sail a racing yacht is what Abby is. Sadly she is too ignorant to understand how ignorant she is.

I'm sure there are a bunch of born again fundies who will support anything one of their own do, so there's that. Should pay for the diapers of Larry's latest for a few months.

It looks like she has gained at least 30 pounds.

A failed, ill-advised sailing attempt, and she's marketable?! This simply corroborates claims that they've been in it for the gold from the start.

By the power of God, Abby has the gift to inspire millions of young girls to greatness! What you see as failure is only a means for Him to reach into the hearts and minds of adults and children world wide! Abby's massive sailing skills got her through the worst conditions ever attempted by any sailor and she is only sixteen. Shame on you for questioning her family's motives. God's plans cannot be understood by those who do not believe!

Talente agent?? Surprise, surprise.

Yeah, what a surprise. NOT!!! I said this fame/$$ seeking family wouldn't go away and looks like I am right. Plain and simple, she failed at her ego driven, worthless goal of circumventing the globe alone (never mind that Daddy and team were in constant contact 24/7 telling her what to do), now we are supposed to believe she has talent? Gimme a break. If the responses to this latest news in other blogs is any indication, I don't think she will have many speaking engagements. This family was after $$ and fame from day 1, they are nothing but the balloon family revisited except this time, a child's life was really in danger. Mommy and Daddy should both be charged with child endangerment. It really angers me that they are allowed to skate on this. Now we are going to have Abby shoved down our throats as the new Emelia Earhart. Gag me!!!!


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