Solo Sailing Update: Jessica Nears The End

The two teen girls battling to be the youngest to solo-circumnavigate the globe, have seen their fortunes rise and fall recently, and now it appears that only one will be able to claim that new record.

For Australian Jessica Watson, the end is in sight, as she has now rounded Tasmania, and is headed for Sydney, her beginning and ending point. It hasn’t been an easy go for the 16-year old however, as violent storms a few days back caused a knockdown, which was a good reminder that the voyage isn’t over until you’re safely back to port. The past few days have brought relative calm however, with clear skies and light winds. Progress hasn’t been the speediest, but at least the boat is now aimed for the finish line, and it should only be a matter of days before Jessica sails into Sydney and the record books.

The fates haven’t been as kind to Abby Sunderland, who celebrated her 100th day at sea on Sunday. Throughout much of her voyage, Abby has battled a faulty autopilot, and it has continued to give her troubles after she rounded Cape Horn, and headed out into the Atlantic. Because of this, she’s made the painful decision to stop in Cape Town to replace the faulty unit, which means she’ll be out of the running for the record of youngest to solo-circumnavigate, which generally entails making the journey non-stop.

While it may be the end of the road for the record however, Abby hasn’t finished her adventure just yet. After picking up the new autopilot in Cape Town sometime within the next week or so, she’ll return to the high seas and finish up her voyage, demonstrating a true adventurous spirit, records be damned. Good luck Abby and enjoy the rest of the trip.

Kraig Becker

4 thoughts on “Solo Sailing Update: Jessica Nears The End”

  1. This has got to be the coolest learning, self-reliance building exercise any teen could hope to undertake. I voted for the Dutch government to butt out of the 13-year-old's decision to sail solo, maybe next year. Go girls!

  2. Laura Dekker, the Dutch girl in question, is preparing to sail solo soon too. She's had to demonstrate her skills, and wait for the school year to end, but the plan is for her to begin her circumnavigation within the next month or two.

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