By lex, on May 15th, 2010
Sixteen year old Jessica Watson has just completed a 216-day solo circumnavigation in a pink sailboat, ** of all things:
A 16-year-old Australian who spent seven months at sea in her pink yacht sailed across the finish line of her round-the-world journey Saturday, becoming the youngest sailor to circle the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted.Thousands of spectators erupted into cheers as 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.”
Watson docked at Sydney’s iconic Opera House. The teenager burst into tears and gasped in relief as she stepped off the yacht and into the arms of her parents, whose decision to let their daughter attempt the feat was called an act of insanity by critics…
Watson’s feat, however, will not be considered an official world record, because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its “youngest” category.
And though she sailed nearly 23,000 nautical miles, some sailing enthusiasts have also argued that Watson didn’t travel far enough north of the equator for her journey to count as a true round-the-world sail as defined by the record council’s rules. Watson’s managers have dismissed those claims and argued she doesn’t need to adhere to the council’s rules anyway, since they won’t be recognizing her voyage.
The route took Watson through some of the world’s most treacherous waters, and the teen battled through monstrous storms, suffering seven knockdowns.
She left Sydney sailing east. She returned from the west. Took some lumps * and got back into the game.
Who really cares what the critics say or think?
Good on ya, miss.
* 10-02-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.