Australian Jessica Watson, 16, to become youngest to sail around the world – CSMonitor.com

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2010/0514/Australian-Jessica-Watson-16-to-become-youngest-to-sail-around-the-world

Australian Jessica Watson, 16, to become youngest to sail around the world


At 11 a.m. in Sydney Saturday, 16-year-old Australian Jessica Watson will become arguably the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. But critics say her course wasn’t long enough to classify as ‘around the world.’

Boston

After seven months on the open seas, Australian Jessica Watson is about to finish her journey as the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

The 16-year-old floated out of Sydney Harbor on Oct. 18 in her 34-ft. pink sailboat, Ella’s Pink Lady, and at 11 a.m. Sydney time Saturday she’s slated to dock and end that journey.

Arriving just days before her 17th birthday, she’ll be more than a year younger than Australian Jesse Martin was in 1999 when he entered the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) as the youngest person to make the voyage.

But since then, record-keeping organizations stopped recognizing “youngest” pursuits because of growing controversy over recognizing “human condition categories.” Still, until now, nobody younger than Mr. Martin has completed an unassisted around-the-world sailing trip. A 17-year-old Briton completed the trip in August 2009, though his trip was classified as “assisted” because he had to stop for repairs at various ports. In December, a 14-year-old Dutch girl apparently ran… er… sailed away from home after authorities blocked her attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world. (She was picked up on a Caribbean island.)

Ms. Watson set sail with a goal to beat Mr. Martin’s age record, but sailing websites reported last week that Watson’s route wasn’t long enough to qualify as “around the world.” To be recognized as a round-the-world course, the WSSRC requires sailors to hit 21,600 nautical miles measured orthodromically – measuring the shortest distance from point to point on a spherical route – and there’s doubt about whether she has met that.


CBC News – World – Australian teen sails around the world

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/15/teen-sail-australian.html

Australian teen sails around the world


Last Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2010 | 1:27 AM ET Comments64Recommend71

The Associated Press

After seven months at sea, an Australian teen crossed the finish line of a round-the-world journey Saturday in her pink yacht, becoming the youngest sailor to circle the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted.

Thousands of spectators erupted into cheers as 16-year-old Jessica Watson sailed into Sydney Harbour, the finale to an epic adventure in which she battled 12-metre waves, homesickness and critics who said she’d never make it home alive.

“She said she’d sail around the world, and she has,” a tearful Julie Watson said as she watched her grinning daughter cruise past the finish line from a nearby boat. “She’s home.”ml

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