Jessica Watson Gets a Beating Sailing to Sydney

Posted: October 4, 2009 in boat, boating, boats, cruising, Jessica Watson, sailboat, sailboats, sailing, sailing records, singlehanded sailing, singlehanding, yacht, yachting, yachts
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Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson’s Gets a Beating Sailing to Sydney

16 year old sailor Jessica Watson’s trial voyage to Sydney is giving her a taste of the massive challenge she’ll face on her bid to sail single-handed around the world solo. The young girl has battled three-metre waves on her shakedown run from Queensland’s Gold Coast to Sydney after having abandoned an earlier attempt last month when her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady collided with a cargo ship. The Australian teenager set sail, for her trial run, on her second attempt at daybreak last Thursday and expects to reach Sydney on Monday.

Jessica plans to sail around the world in a bid to become the youngest sailor to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe. Jessica Watson’s mum, Julie Watson, updated her website last night to report that her daughter had been coping with strong southerlies and a heavy swell. “Jess called in this evening to say that she has 23 knots of southerlies and has three-metre steep seas,” Ms Watson said. “She sounds good and has been busy checking her equipment and systems.” Jessica cooked her own breakfast yesterday morning then lived on sandwiches, honeycomb and apples for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, her parents remain totally committed to their daughter’s cause even after a damning Maritime Safety Queensland report into Jessica Watson’s collision with the 63,000-tonne vessel off North Stradbroke Island.

The report said Jessica had kept “irregular latitude and longitude entries” in her log, had no course plots nor a fatigue management plan. It also said she most likely “dozed off” and that she had not activated an alarm device which would have warned her of the approaching ship.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh even weighed into the debate. “This is a very high-risk venture. Frankly, it’s one that I would be reconsidering, but ultimately it’s a decision for them (the family),” she said after the report’s release.

Jessica’s spokesman Andrew Fraser says believes the tide of support has turned in her favour. Mr Fraser said yesterday the 16-year-old has been flooded with encouraging messages on her internet blog. “We’re getting 114,000 hits a day on the website and I’d say 95 per cent of the blogs and emails are messages of support. “She’s very brave and mature for a 16-year-old. With everything that’s happened, it has made her even more resilient. “She’s had 30 knot winds and two-and-a-half metre swells,” Mr Fraser said. “It’s nothing compared to what she’s going to get in the Southern Ocean but it’s a good test for the boat, the rigging and Jess’s experience.”

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  1. Shaun McLean says:

    Jessica, improve your image by looking into the camera instead of the ‘pose’. The vacant stare irritates viewers because they can’t read your eyes too see who you really are.

    • john SEIP says:

      Very good advice ,Also few understand what she says due to her speed of speech , teenage ex school,accent , & subject matter foreign to many.More care in enunciation is essential as people switch off mentally or physically if they do not understand .

      But we love your bright expression, enthusiasm & confidence ,fine tuning this is nearly as important as the boat & dilutes the juvenile ‘Child ‘ image so many ignoramuses like to hammer .

      John of Ipswich

  2. john SEIP says:

    Jessica I’d also like to stress that most if not all personal (not adopted or copied ) opinion is given on the basis of experience, be it zero or minimal .,

    To expound ,a person whose family has driven “entry mode” vehicles for decades is not qualified to rant on the driving experience,life expectancy ,service cost or safety of a Foreign alternative & the torrential diatribe pouring over you is largely from that origin . .

    Suffice to say “empty vessels make most noise” .

    John of Ipswich

  3. Pilar Ackermann says:


    just consider positive and helpfull comments! Extreme good luck to you…..Pilar

  4. Flash says:

    I’m impressed by the skills and the determination of Jessica and I believe she’ll finish the voyage successful – with land stops or without, doesn’t matter.

  5. john SEIP says:

    The Sunday Mail today has exposed a new side of Jessica which makes her voyage all the more amazing in emphasis that people so encumbered by a slight learning handicap may excel so fantastically in any other subject to which they care to apply themselves with absolute dedication , awesome courage & steely spirit .

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