I caught wind of this story while I was in Australia, and was intrigued to learn more once I got home. It seems that Jessica Watson, who hails from Mooloolaba, Queensland, is preparing to sale solo around the world. That alone is an ambitious project for anyone, but Jessica is only 16 years old. If she is successful, she’ll become the youngest person to ever make the journey.
Jessica hopes to set out in November and will be going after the record currently held by German Jessie Martin, who sailed around the world solo back in 1999 at the age of 18. Meanwhile, 17 year-old Mike Perham of the U.K. is halfway through his attempt to circumnavigate the globe as well. He is currently experiencing gear problems and is Tasmania, of all places, and faces the challenge of sailing around Cape Horn in the winter. With any luck, he’ll be finished up by the time Jessica is hitting the water.
The Australian teenager has quite a bit of sailing experience despite her young age. She start out at the age of 8, and has continued to build her skills since then. She has even sailed solo across the Tasman Sea between her home country and New Zealand, and while that isn’t the same as 8 months at sea alone, it is still a good test of her abilities.
Good luck Jessica! We’ll be following along. Keep the winds at your back!
Update: I was reminded by Crazy Rower #2, an always helpful commenter, that American Zac Sutherland, age 17, is also close to finishing up his solo circumnavigation of the globe. You can follow his progress here.
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