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16-year old Ozzie completes solo around-the-world sail





deanhills
Jessica Watson of Australia made it around the world on her own in her yacht, the Pink Lady. Jessica and her parents had to endure lots of criticism ahead of the journey by people who thought she was too young for the journey.
Quote:
"People don't think you're capable of these things — they don't realize what young people, what 16-year-olds and girls are capable of," Watson told the raucous crowd. "It's amazing when you take away those expectations what you can do."

Watson, from Buderim, north of Brisbane in Queensland state, sailed out of Sydney on Oct. 18 despite protests by critics that she was too immature and inexperienced for the treacherous journey. Her parents maintained that she was well-prepared and noted she has been sailing since the age of 8.

"I don't think any of us would ever doubt Jessica Watson again," said New South Wales state Premier Kristina Keneally, who greeted Watson at the Opera House.

Watson's journey took her northeast through the South Pacific and across the equator, south to Cape Horn at the tip of South America, across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa, through the Indian Ocean and around southern Australia.

Australian Jesse Martin holds the current record for the youngest person to sail around the world solo, nonstop and unassisted, after he completed the journey in 1999 at the age of 18.

Martin boarded Watson's boat to take over during her cruise toward the Opera House, so she could relax and wave to fans. Watson was given a goodie bag that included a can of whipped cream, which she partially injected into her mouth before laughing and turning away from the cameras.

She was also joined on board by Britain's Mike Perham, who completed a solo circumnavigation at the age of 17 in 2009, though technical problems forced him to stop for assistance.

Watson's feat, however, will not be considered an official world record, because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its "youngest" category.

Yahoo!News
coolclay
That is so incredible. Coming from a person that has done several solo adventures and nearly went insane from the loneliness this is a most amazing feat especially for someone who in America would have just gotten her drivers license! It's too bad the aren't more young people in the world this motivated to achieve their dreams!
deanhills
coolclay wrote:
That is so incredible. Coming from a person that has done several solo adventures and nearly went insane from the loneliness this is a most amazing feat especially for someone who in America would have just gotten her drivers license! It's too bad the aren't more young people in the world this motivated to achieve their dreams!
Agreed. It is not only good for that young person, but all other young people to create dreams like these, as well as goals to realize them. All of the politics and struggles that happened before the actual launch of the journey, must have been an equal challenge for Jessica to work through, as there were so many naysayers and critics of her parents. Hopefully her experience will help other young people realize their dreams as well. I'm almost certain this has been helpful for another dreamer, Laura Dekker, who wishes to be the youngest person to sail around the world.
ChrisCh
With respect to your opinions, I'm from Australia and can safely say that the majority of my friends and I are tired of hearing about her... so much so that one of their recent status updates on Facebook read: "In other news: jessica Watson reaches land, declared an inspiration by asylum seekers worldwide"

I mean good for her - at least she's not some juvenile delinquent achieving nothing, but really, there are more important things going on in the world that we could be hearing about instead!

Just my two cents anyway Smile
ocalhoun
ChrisCh wrote:

I mean good for her - at least she's not some juvenile delinquent achieving nothing, but really, there are more important things going on in the world that we could be hearing about instead!

This actually does take on a good deal of importance when considered in combination with the tendency toward over-protective hover-parents.

It gives the world an example to show that their precious little snowflakes might actually be able to survive -- and even thrive -- given more independence and less protection.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
It gives the world an example to show that their precious little snowflakes might actually be able to survive -- and even thrive -- given more independence and less protection.
Snowflakes .... cute Smile But agreed. I wonder how much restraint it must have cost the parents to let go of their child, wondering whether they had been neglecting her as people had accused them of doing. The tug of war and pressure must have easily been much greater on them than on Jessica while she was out navigating and struggling to survive. Letting go in circumstances like these has to be a very heavy test of a parent and their love and devotion for their child.
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