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Jessica Watson Finishes

Showing signs of wear and tear — not surprising after suffering a number of knockdowns — Ella’s Pink Lady brings her own lady home safely.

© 2010 EPA

A grinning Jessica Watson sailed into Sydney Harbor Saturday afternoon to close the circuit on her non-stop solo circumnavigation only to be greeted by tens of thousands of cheering fans. The young Aussie — just a couple days shy of her 17th birthday — had just spent the last 210 days completely alone aboard her S&S 34, Ella’s Pink Lady, so the spectacle must have been overwhelming. But the upbeat teenager appeared to take it all in stride. "I don’t consider myself a hero," she said in response to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s proclamation that she was the nation’s newest hero. "I’m an ordinary girl who believed in a dream. You don’t have to be someone special or anything special to achieve something amazing. You’ve just got to have a dream, believe in it, and work hard."

Jessica was also greeted by fellow solo circumnavigators (l to r) Mike Perham, Jesse Martin, Brian Caldwell, David Dicks, and Jon Sanders.

Ella’s Pink Lady
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Though her record-setting journey will not be officially recognized — record-keeping organizations have dropped ‘youngest’ and ‘oldest’ sailing records out of safety concerns — Jessica Watson is, to date, the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world. We applaud her amazing achievement, and have little doubt the world will be hearing much more from this driven young woman in the future.


1 Comment

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With just over a month to go before the start of the Singlehanded TransPac, a handful of entrants have yet to complete their qualifier sail.