When the three teenage girls all started their voyages at about the same time, this and other sites were filled with piss and vinegar on both sides of the argument.
Yeah, I don't know if "3 teenage girls" is really the way to view it. There's been maybe 5 recent teenage voyages?
Michael Perham - Who first did the Atlantic in a 28ft boat, but then set off in an ill tested Open 50 racing machine he probably only took because he needed to make speed.
Zac Sunderland - Who was building boats with his dad most of his life and spent $6k on a 36-foot Islander he refitted out with help from his dad.
Jessica Watson - Was a liveaboard with her family, spent years racking up 6k miles coastal and 6k miles ocean experience serving as crew and bought a S&S 34 for her trip.
Abby Sunderland - Well her brother did it, so why not her? No clue on her prior sailing experience. So she got put on an Open 40 racing machine(hey, it worked for Mike Perham) and rushed her way into the Indian Ocean off season only to lose a mast.
Laura Dekker - Born on a boat, lived with her father on a boat in Holland until he bought her her first 26ft boat to live on next to his. Then owned a 28ft boat she did solo trips on. Was forced to upgrade to a 38ft boat by the courts(otherwise she would've gone on her well known 28ft boat), but bought a slow cruiser and not a racing machine. Took her time with the trip and picked nice safe routes.
So really it sounds like it's less an age issue than
1> Pick the right boat.
2> Have the required experience.
3> Don't rush the trip.