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Jessica Watson – Part 1 – Leaving Sydney

Sep 28, 2009 10 Comments by


Meet Jessica Watson – get your tickets here

Update me when site is updated

60 Minute Story

Greetings yachties

Jessica Watson is attempting to sail around the world before she gets too old and claim the youngest title off Mike Perham. Follow her adventure here. I will update this thread with news as it happens.

Jessica’s website and blog here

where is Jessica now? tracker link


Part 2 here – stage 2 to Cape Horn


Friday, November 13, 2009
Squally Sailing
Sorry it’s been a little while without an update.

I was told that this has become the most watched blog in Australia and stage fright has left me a bit speechless! No just kidding it’s all good. Well actually it’s pretty amazing and more than a little hard for me to comprehend out here all alone. Well, physically alone. It really is amazing to be able to share the voyage with so many wonderful people. To me, it is just sharing my journey with you, in what is sometimes a not very exciting life. Plodding along out here, taking whatever is thrown at us, just feels completely normal. I know I’m going to get a million cries of disagreement. But think about it. How strange would it feel to you to be describing to the world all the ins and outs of your everyday life? It is all a bit surreal. That said, thank you all for your support!

And talking of those little ins and outs, Ella’s Pink Lady and I have been making good progress for the last few days. The latitude read out now puts us in the single digits – wow!

more here

Busy Day and Water

Monday, November 9, 2009

I’ve just come back into the cabin after pulling the fishing line in for the day. No fish but the lures are covered in huge big teeth marks, so looks like I’ve been getting some nibbles! Well maybe nibbles isn’t the right word? I’ve decided not to think too hard about exactly what left the great big teeth marks, but I’m sure it wasn’t anything nearly as dramatic as my imagination would like me to think.

Looks like it’s going to be another dark night out here and warmer than ever, but I’m a happy girl after a busy and productive day. The sea and wind finally dropped off (and the sun came out!) this morning so I was out of my bunk bright and early ready to launch into a few jobs on
deck that I’d been putting off due to the bouncy conditions. I got through my little list of maintenance and gave Ella’s Pink Lady a really good check over for chafe and wear. Then the wind dropped off even more, to the point where we were left to roll a bit un-comfortably, not making any progress. But before it started getting too frustrating, a great big rain cloud came along and gave us a soaking in fresh water. Rain might not sound like something to get too excited about but I was just about in heaven!

Using the mainsail and the little gutters we strategically built into the dodger, I was able to collect enough water to top the water tanks up, fill a few empty containers and give myself a lovely fresh water scrub down. In fact I ended up with more water than I knew what to do with – even after washing all my clothes. So I decided to get right into it and ended up giving every surface in the cabin a wipe down. With the music up and the air temperature down for a while with the rain, I was really enjoying myself and I never thought I hear myself saying that! I’ve never exactly been one to enjoy cleaning and washing so maybe I am going a little crazy out here after all? It provided me with some great exercise as well.

Anyway this brings us to one of the questions that I still haven’t answered for you all – water.

more here

Trade Wind Sailing

Really loving the way Ella’s been chewing away the miles over the last few days. With the wind sitting on 20-25knots from the south east its good trade wind sailing, even if the sun hasn’t been doing too much of that shining business lately.
We’re also really starting to make some good progress north. The GPS readout now puts our latitude well into the teens.
The temperature is just starting to get a little warm in the cabin, but with so much water over the deck, having the hatches open is completely out of the question. But I’m sure this is nothing compared to how warm it will get over the over the next few weeks!

more here


Thursday, 5 November, 2009 (3.00pm AEDT)

Jessica Watson today passed the 2,000 nautical mile mark of her 23,000 mile journey, where she is attempting to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and unassisted.

Today marks day nineteen of the voyage, so Jessica is slightly ahead of the predicted schedule of 100 nautical miles per day. She is presently passing the Tongan Islands heading north east towards American Samoa.

“It’s another little milestone ticked off, so I’m really happy with our progress to date. The next big target is the Equator,” said Jessica earlier today from her yacht, Ella’s Pink Lady.

The Equator is approximately 1650 nautical miles from her current position. It is still too early to predict an exact date that Jessica will cross the line, but based on her current progress, this could occur on the weekend of 21-22 November.

This Sunday will mark three weeks since Jessica’s departure from Sydney Harbour, when she is expected to pass 2,300 nautical miles, 10% of the way through her epic journey.

more here

Another Good Week

Friday, 30 October, 2009 (7.00pm AEDT)

Just a quick update for all of Jessica’s supporters.

It has been another productive week with Jess making good time over the last 3 days, having averaged approximately 135 nautical miles per day since Tuesday, which is well above the predicted 100nm per day.

“It’s been a good week. We have covered more miles than anticipated, especially over the past 3 days and Ella’s Pink Lady is doing well,” said Jessica, as she heads toward the next landmark at the Equator.

As a result of the extra miles, Jess is expected to hit the 1500nm mark at some stage late tomorrow (Saturday).

For all of those fans wanting to track her voyage, we are pleased to advise that we will post a tracking map next week which will provide everyone with an estimate of Jessica’s position.

more here

World embraces our youngest solo sailor Jessica Watson – The Daily Telegraph

By Amanda Lulham, The Daily Telegraph in Australia

Sydney, Saturday October 24, 2009

SHE might be hundreds of miles from the Australian coast but teenage solo sailor Jessica Watson is still doing what most teenagers do – racking up a phone bill. Almost a week since she set sail on the round-the-world odyssey she has dreamed of for two long years, Jessica is finding life aboard her 34-footer smooth sailing with regular satellite phone calls to family and friends keeping her up with the latest news.  The teenager has so enjoyed her time at sea since last Sunday’s departure she joked she may have to “do another lap” in Ella’s Pink Lady when she completes her journey. Instead of the winds and wild seas she could have encountered, Jessica has been treated to almost benign conditions which have sometimes left her a little frustrated at the agonisingly slow start to her epic journey.

While she may not be getting much more than a gentle breeze, since her departure many of the public have become concerned about the safety of the 16-year-old and her ability to handle a journey fraught with danger.

But the naysayers have been drowned out by supporters, with Jessica’s website bombarded with almost half a million hits a day and more than 1000 people from around the word emailing comments after her last blog.  Jessica has also gone from being a straight news story to a sport story, with the international sailing community following her journey along with non-sailors inspired and touched by her courage.

American Jim Long, who lost his son David, 18, to cancer last year, sent an email to the teenager he has never met telling her how proud he was of her.

more here


Wednesday, 21 October, 2009 (6.00pm AEDT)

Despite being just 320 nautical miles and five days into her estimated 23,000 mile, 230 day solo voyage around the world, Jessica Watson has already captured the imagination of a global audience, with over 400,000 hits per day on her website and today recording over 1000 comments on her increasingly popular blog platform.

Her management company at 5 Oceans Media have been swamped with emails, phone calls and messages of support.

“The website has taken a pounding and the IT guys had to work for 4 hours on Sunday after Jess departed to ensure the site did not crash. It’s quite remarkable. People from all demographics from over 170 countries have been in contact with Jessica via her blog and we are taking over a hundred calls a day from people wanting to know more information,” said Andrew Fraser from 5 Oceans Media.

“When we told Jess of the level of interest in her blog and the website hits, she could not believe it. She was amazed and again wanted to thank everyone for all the positive messages of support.”

The story in a News Ltd newspaper today aptly summed it up, when it read as follows:

“Jessica is one of the most determined yet unflappable young people to catch the public eye in recent times. Australians are deeply engaged with her story because it seems she succeeds in combining a spirited heart and a sense of adventure with a level head – qualities many believe are what sets the people of this nation apart from the rest of the world. Out there alone in the Pacific Ocean, she has the well-wishes of millions to stir her sails”.

This says it all – go Jess!

more here



Tuesday, 20 October, 2009 (6.00pm)

Day three of Jessica’s solo around the world voyage has progressed well and at 6.00pm (AEDT) Ella’s Pink Lady was located approximately 150 nautical miles north east of Sydney.

Weather conditions were again been relatively calm through the day, but the good news is that the wind has increased and Jessica was sailing along at 6kts early this evening and making good progress.

more here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Across the Start Line
Well yesterday was the big day, leaving Sydney and crossing the start line. After a good night sleep, a good breakfast and a last hot shower, that was it and I was off to sail around the world! Getting out of the harbour and across the start line was a bit of a feat in itself with spectator boats, helicopters, very little wind and a swell rolling though. It kept me on my toes but in the end we managed a sort of slow drift across the line and found a little more wind after clearing the Sydney Heads. I didn’t really have much time to take it all in as a I crossed the actual start line, but I can’t describe how proud I felt motoring away from the dock with my brave family standing there, along with so many of the people who made this happen. Getting to the start line has been the furthest thing imaginable from a solo effort!
My first day was busy for me trying to keep Ella’s Pink Lady moving away from the coast in very little wind, working through a few small problems and avoiding shipping. I’ll admit I was a little emotional for a while after all the goodbyes but on the plus side I already feel like I’m settling in and with such calm conditions I haven’t even been feeling any of my normal first few days at sea queasiness.
So after all the excitement of getting away, progress has been pretty slow. We’re still only just over 65nm from the coast, currently doing a not very remarkable, but steady 2.5knots. It’s a little frustrating but I’m not complaining. I’m just taking it one day at a time for now, giving myself a little time to settle in and waiting for a little more wind.
Loving all the comments!


more here


Jessica Watson to leave Sydney on Sunday!

Friday, October 16, 2009 – 10:30pm

Following a productive final week of preparations on her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady and a favourable weather window, Jessica Watson wishes to advise that she will set sail this Sunday, 18 October.

The 16-year-old will sail through Sydney Heads at approximately 9.30am (AEDT). Thousands of well-wishers are expected to throng the harbour and its foreshore to send her off, as she begins her attempt at becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted.

With a large number of vessels expected to bid Jessica farewell, NSW Maritime will be escorting Jessica out of Sydney Harbour and will enforce a strict exclusion zone for safety reasons.

Please note that her departure from The Spit will be a private farewell with her family and no access will be permitted to the dock.

Jessica is unavailable for any more media interviews prior to her departure.

Thank you once again for your support.

more here


Sunday 4 October, 2009

2pm (AEDT)

Despite experiencing difficult conditions overnight, Jessica Watson is progressing well and at this stage is expected to sail into Sydney tomorrow (Monday) on schedule.

The past two nights have proven to be a great test of Jessica’s skills. She has coped well with the challenging conditions and Ella’s Pink Lady is in good shape. Friday night saw wind gusts of up to 36 knots. Last night Jessica encountered 33 knot winds and a heavy swell ranging between 4 and 5 metres.

But the good news is conditions have calmed somewhat today as she heads south from Newcastle on her way into Sydney Heads.

Many supporters and media in Sydney have been enquiring about Jessica’s estimated arrival time tomorrow, as we understand they wish to welcome her into Sydney Harbour.

Tomorrow is a Public Holiday in New South Wales, there is expected to be a lot of traffic on the water. As such, NSW Maritime will be providing an escort for Jessica as she nears Sydney, with a minimum 30 metre exclusion zone for all vessels.

Jessica’s team respectfully ask that all media and support vessels respect the NSW Maritime exclusion zone. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

more here

Sailing Again, Take Two!

Well the most exciting news is that I set off again early this morning and I’m now sailing along at 7kts heading out to sea before turning south for Sydney. It’s great to be out here and it’s been a good first day!
For the last week we’ve all been steadily plodding away to get Ella’s Pink Lady back on the water and sailing again. We have been retesting everything and installing a few new pieces of new equipment. I want to say one last huge thanks to Dean, Ryan and the crew at Gold Coast City Marina and Black Joe and Scooter at AME for looking after us and for a nice quick turnaround. They were just amazing.
Another thing that has been amazing is the constant media attention we’ve been getting. The interest has been a bit overwhelming and while most people are still so supportive, it’s been a shame to have so much energy wasted on coping with some of the negative and silly stuff being published. Oh well, we move on. But overall the local media at the Gold Coast over the past few weeks have been really nice to us.
The northerly’s should last till Saturday so it’ll be a nice fast run till then and if all goes to plan we’ll be in Sydney early next week. It’s pretty nice out here at the moment with just over 15kts of wind and clear skies but as always it’ll take me a few days before I get my sea legs and stop feeling a little green.

more here


State government officers look for ways to stop Jessica Watson sailing round the world

By Brian Williams and Jeremy Pierce

The Courier-Mail September 11, 2009 12:01am


Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson’s yacht is in for repairs after it collided with the northbound bulk carrier Silver Yang and was dismasted

QUEENSLAND government officers are investigating ways of stopping 16-year-old sailor Jessica Watson’s solo world voyage after this week’s collision.

But it appears there are no laws that can prevent her sailing despite the obvious risks.

A spokeswoman for Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves said yesterday there was no trigger for intervention because child protection laws had been written to protect children who were either being abused or neglected rather than taking solo sailing trips, The Courier-Mail reports.

“It’s a complex matter for us,” she said. “The girl is 16. She and her parents feel she is able to do this. This … may divide community views. Some people may see this young person as an achiever and a hero and others may think the parents should not allow her to go.”
Related Coverage

Government agencies have been conferring to establish whether anything could be done about the voyage.

A police spokeswoman said as long as Ms Watson had a valid licence and her boat met safety regulations, they could not intervene.

A Dutch court last month stopped 13-year-old Laura Dekker from a similar venture after her father sought to have her excused from school

more here

Jessica Watson warned after collision: Do not sail

By Michael Crutcher and Greg Stolz – The Courier-Mail

September 26, 2009 12:00am

Jessica Watson told to abort her solo trip around the world after a damning report of her skills

TEENAGE sailor Jessica Watson and her parents have been given a clear warning by authorities to call off the 16-year-old’s solo trip around the world after a damning assessment of her skills.

The Courier-Mail has obtained a copy of the report into a collision between Jessica’s yacht and a Chinese bulk carrier this month which shows basic problems led her to a potentially fatal crash off southeast Queensland.

Maritime Safety Queensland inspectors concluded the Sunshine Coast teenager:

* Most probably dozed off before her vessel hit and was dragged alongside the 63,000-tonne cargo ship.

* Did not turn on a device that would have warned her of a potential collision.

* Could not produce a clear, plotted plan for her journey.

* Had not developed a fatigue management plan.

* Kept a log with “irregular latitude and longitude entries”.

Acting Premier Paul Lucas last night said Jessica should abandon her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world.

“I’ll be honest. On this evidence I don’t think she’s ready to do this,” Mr Lucas said.

“We all admire this young woman’s spirit, but sailing solo around the world is a demanding and dangerous venture. It’s not a task anyone young or old should undertake lightly.

“The decision about whether she undertakes this trip is one for Jessica and, ultimately, her parents.

“But I’ll say this much – just because our maritime safety experts may not have any powers to stop her, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a duty to talk to her parents about any concerns and how they could be addressed.

“Our authorities have officially cautioned her and her parents and they’ve sat down with them to talk about Jessica’s plans.

“The fact is the ball is in their court,” Mr Lucas said.

“But it’s clear to me, and I think most Queenslanders, that no record is worth putting a young life at risk. I’m the first to admit, I’m not an expert in this area.

“But this is something I’d rather be proved wrong about, than right.”

Jessica’s parents were last night defiant, saying they had full confidence in their daughter as she prepared to sail her mended yacht from the Gold Coast to Sydney to officially start the voyage.

Jessica’s mother Julie confirmed the family had received an official letter from Maritime Safety Queensland but that they would not be deterred.

“They have made some recommendations and we have followed them,” she said.

“I was confident beforehand and I’m even more confident now.”

more here


Jess ready for solo sail – mum

Article from: AAP

September 28, 2009 10:10am

THE mother of teenage sailor Jessica Watson has rejected suggestions not enough preparation has gone into her daughter’s around-the-world solo expedition.

Acting Queensland Premier Paul Lucas has appealed to the 16-year-old’s family to call off her world-record attempt, after a report suggested she was inadequately prepared.

A Maritime Safety Queensland report into the collision between Ms Watson’s yacht Ella’s Pink Lady and a 63,000-tonne cargo vessel off North Stradbroke Island on September 9 showed basic problems led to the crash.

The report said Ms Watson kept “irregular latitude and longitude entries” and that the young sailor had no course plots nor a fatigue management plan.

more here


From Sail-World

‘Over the last few years gaining offshore sailing experience, I have been learning all that I can from experienced skippers, studying Yachtmaster courses and speaking to sailors and adventurers who have completed similar voyages. Of course the collision has made us all ask these questions again. As you well know, there are many incidences of professional skippers and sailors having similar collisions all ages and genders.’

Don McIntyre, who donated the yacht to Jessica for her journey, has supplied the following as Jessica’s sailing qualifications:

Jessica has been issued with the following RYA course completion certificates:

RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety course (ISAF SR 6.01) Cat zero
RYA Diesel Engine course
RYA Radar course

YAs issues Certificates of Competence on the advice of accredited YA instructors
Jessica holds YAs Safety and Sea Survival certificate

OMTC issues Certificates of Competence for Apply First Aid HTLF301B
Jessica holds this certificate

Jessica also holds IMO compliant Elementary First Aid Table A VI/1-3 STCW95

She also has the Yachtmaster Ocean theory certificates and about 6000 coastal and 6000 ocean miles experience, has her radio operator’s licence and all of the other required certificates.

more here




Jessica told TVNZ’s Sunday programme she had a number of collision avoidance systems running at the time but admitted she was catching “a few cat naps”.

The narrow brush with death was “terrible for her confidence” but showed she could handle such a situation and come out of it.

“In a big way it was a relief to know now I can cope with that sort of emergency at sea.

“I accept responsibility, you can’t have a collision without two boats.”

She still planned to embark on the eight-month journey before the Pacific cyclone season starts.

Meanwhile, her New Zealand-born parents Roger and Julie, believe she can still complete the journey.

Mrs Watson said she did not feel they were being irresponsible, they were putting every precaution into place. The family was not in it for the money and Jessica could earn millions if successful, but wanted to support her daughter in her dream, she said.

Mrs Watson said she would feel more concerned about her going to a night club rather than sailing around the world.

Meanwhile, a Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) report into the collision showed basic problems led to the crash.

more here

Official Progress Report – Repairs on Schedule

Repairs to Ella’s Pink Lady are progressing better than expected largely to the support of all the team at Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) and Australian Marine Enterprises (AME).

The team have repaired the damage to the hull, deck and chain plate and have just completed re-painting of the damaged areas. They have also replaced and repaired the damaged stanchions, lifelines, bow roller and replaced damaged navigation lights.

Whilst repairs to the vessel are on track, the re-building of a new mast and damaged rigging, courtesy of David Lambourne, has commenced and is on track for delivery possibly as early as next week. David and his team have rearranged their schedule and several other rig builds specifically to assist Jessica and get the rig back in the boat as fast as possible.

The team estimate works to the vessel could be finished in another week. Jessica will then be performing a series of “sea trials” off the Gold Coast to ensure all of Ella’s Pink Lady’s systems and equipment are in perfect working order prior to her trek down the coast to Sydney.

“I am so grateful for the support of everyone here at Gold Coast City Marina. We have a wonderful team working around the clock to ensure Ella’s Pink Lady is in perfect condition when she hits the water again. Hopefully in a week or so we can do some final test sails, before heading down to Sydney”, said Jessica.

Despite the slight setback, Jessica remains buoyant and focused on her upcoming around the world voyage.

more here


Collision Report

more here

Friday, September 11, 2009
What a week. From the highs of departing Mooloolaba, my home port, with family, friends and media waving me off, to the incredible turn of events soon after.

I think it’s fair to say that there aren’t many people left that haven’t heard about the incident on Tuesday night. Basically, Ella’s Pink Lady was hit by a 225 meter long bulk carrier just before 2:00am causing damage to the hull, breaking the mast in two and destroying the rigging. Ella’s Pink Lady was running navigation lights and collision avoidance equipment, but I can’t go into further details as we currently have three different departments investigating the collision.

The big thing is that I’m safe and well and that although Ella’s Pink Lady has suffered some pretty bad damage, it’s all repairable.

I won’t play it down. It was a pretty scary and dangerous incident. The sound of Ella’s Pink Lady being scraped along the hull of a 63,000 tonne ship isn’t something that I’m likely to ever forget. But at the same time I’m proud of the way the whole team handled the situation. From my first call back to base everything was under control, and looking back it was amazing to see years of planning for such an emergency click into place.

Up to this point I had only ever been able to read about and discuss what to do in such a situation. So in many ways it was really comforting to know that I was able to keep a completely cool head and instinctively know what needed to be done.

After we separated, there was quite a bit of work clearing the deck, which looked a lot like war zone, before starting up the engine and motoring into the nearest port, Southport.

Has it put me off? Well no, I’m as determined as ever, and to be honest if an incident like this had put me off I can’t have been very serious about it to begin with. More than anything it taught us all an amazing amount about how tight the team is and just how prepared I am.

The media and public interest over the collision has been overwhelming. When the news got out (very quickly) I had choppers following me all day, a fleet of boats to escort me in and hundreds of people standing on the break waters. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me.

Although I did not require assistance, the Rescue Coordination Centre (in Canberra) was very supportive and the Gold Coast Water Police did an amazing job of helping me through the mayhem of media and spectator boats to the marina.

more here


Photographer: Kate Czerny


Sunshine Coast skipper Jessica Watson, 16, limps into the Gold Coast Seaway to repair her yacht after colliding with a bulk carrier off North Stradbroke Island. September 9, 2009. Jessica enters the Seaway with a crowd waiting to see her.


more here




Jessica Watson survives collision, still wants to sail around the world alone

September 11, 2009 |  4:29 pm

JessAustralian sailor Jessica Watson stated today on her blog: “I think it’s fair to say that there aren’t many people left that haven’t heard about the incident on Tuesday night.”

In case you missed it, Watson, aboard a 34-foot yacht on which she hopes to sail around the world, was involved in a collision with a 700-foot cargo freighter during what was supposed to be a 10-day test-run from Mooloolaba, Australia, to Sydney, Australia.

Fortunately, the 16-year-old, who aspires to become the youngest person to sail around the planet alone, was not injured. However, her vessel, Ella’s Pink Lady, suffered damage to its rigging and hull and a broken mast. That is likely to delay her planned late-September departure.

more here


Schoolgirl Jessica Watson’s solo sailing bid hampered by ship collision

by Sophie Tedmanson in Sydney

An Australian schoolgirl’s attempt to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world has received a setback after her yacht crashed into a cargo ship during a sea trial overnight.

Jessica Watson, 16, set off from her home in Mooloolaba in Queensland to sail south to Sydney for a 10-day test run for her yacht, Ella’s Pink Lady, before the official start to her round-the-world record attempt this month.

However less than 24 hours after taking off, the teenager ran into trouble when her 34ft sloop was struck by a 63,000-tonne bulk carrier in a shipping lane about 15 nautical miles east of Stradbroke Island at around 2am this morning (5pm Tuesday, BST).

Jessica, who was below deck when the crash occurred, was unharmed. However her yacht sustained damage to its mast, which was snapped, and the deck and starboard side of the hull were badly scraped during the collision.
Related Links

After arriving back on land earlier today Jessica, who has spent a year preparing for the trip, admitted that the collision was “pretty scary” but said that she was determined to keep going with her record-breaking attempt, despite her “unlucky” trial run.

“All things considered, the boat did come up well,” she said after docking on the Gold Coast earlier today.

“The big thing for me is I came through the whole thing feeling confident … it was a pretty scary incident. Everyone back at base jumped into action and it all worked beautifully.”

more here

Solo yacht girl collides with bulk carrier

Posted Wed Sep 9, 2009 6:00am AEST
std_Jessica's yacht after the collision
Jessica Watson, aspiring round-the-world sailor.

Heading for the Gold Coast:

A 16-year-old girl attempting to become the youngest ever solo around-the-world sailor has damaged her yacht in a collision with a merchant ship off the Queensland coast.

Jessica Watson sailed her 34-foot yacht out of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast yesterday morning en route for Sydney, where she planned to begin her epic journey later this month.

She was sailing her yacht Pink Lady 15 nautical miles east of Stradbroke Island, near Brisbane, when she hit the bulk carrier around 2:30am.

The accident broke her yacht’s mast and damaged the deck, but Ms Watson was unhurt.

She called her parents who notified authorities. They told her to turn on her motor and head to Southport, on the Gold Coast, where she is expected to arrive this morning.

more here

from Jessica’s blog


Once back on shore Jessica held a press conference. Here are some of her comments on today’s events

Jessica Watson:

The biggest thing for me is I came through the whole thing feeling confident. I won’t play it down. It was a pretty scary incident and it was great to actually know what to do. Years of planning and learning and it was all just alright.

When I called home, back at base, they all just jumped into action and it all just worked beautifully.

We came out of it well I suppose and we’ve just got to get back on track and ready to leave again.


I called home, I spoke to Dad, he was really good, asked what’s your position, what’s your problem…I think my first words were it’s alright, but…

It was pretty amazing for me actually, once it happened, it was just like a check list running through my head… it’s alright, nothing more is happening.


I’m still (running) on adrenalin at the moment, but I suppose it’s pretty disappointing because all that work we’ve put into the boat and I’m so proud of it, and it’s such a pretty boat, we’ve just got to keep going. We’ll get there one day.


Definitely, that’s the good thing, it just makes me more determined.

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Ella Bache!

Wow, some exciting news! You may have seen by now that Ella Bache have stepped on board as our major sponsor. I feel really proud to be representing such a great brand. Ella Bache have a long history in sailing and were heavily involved in the 18 foot skiffs in the 90s, that was all before my time but it was a pretty big thing back then.

Ella Baché’s mission is to inspire you to be the best you can be, something that I also strongly believe in, so I can see this being a great partnership! Pink Lady is now proudly named Ellla’s Pink Lady. Wait till you see the new branding – it is very cool and totally cute but I wont say anymore or I’ll spoil the surprise. I’d like to say a huge thank you to John, Pippa, Kit and all the team at Ella Bache for their support and vision. I’m really looking forward to working with Ella Bache and also the media launch down in Sydney in a few weeks time.

While I’m on a roll I’d also like to thank Andrew and Scott from our management team at
5 Oceans Media, they’ve become an essential part of the team, securing and looking after our commercial deals. For me it’s a whole new world, often a big and scary one, so having these guys to help out is totally amazing!

They’ve certainly been hard at work firstly working on our broadcast partnership with ONE HD who will be following the voyage and be keeping everyone back on land updated. Then with Satcom who provided me with equipment that I can see myself becoming very attached to, the satellite communication gear! With Hachette, who are going to publish a book on the voyage and lately with Panasonic who recently came on board as our technology partner.

Its only with this amazing support from all my sponsors that we’ve got this far and I cant say how proud I’m going to be sailing out the heads in September with all their backing and belief behind me.

Thanks all for making it possible!

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Jessica Watson Reaches New Zealand

We got into the customs dock at Marsden Point Marina at 0840QLD Time 1140 NZDT.
Last nights sailing and tacking under the moon were so lovely I was just savouring the last night at sea.

The customs and TV crews were there to meet us. When all the filming and photos were done we headed into town for some more interviews.
I saw the TV news tonight and thought it was someone else!

Keen to get home to get on with the BIG trip!…there is so much to do!

I am still looking for a Major Naming Partner…so if there is anyone out there who wants me to take their name around the world, I’d love to hear from you.
Posted by Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson was pretty wobbly when she docked at Marsden Cove Marina in Whangarei Harbour on the north island of New Zealand.

Not surprising, considering the 15-year-old Australian had just spent nearly 13 days skippering a boat from the Australia’s Gold Coast to Whangarei, on a practice trip towards her goal of being the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

She had just sailed the Magic Roundabout, the 10m yacht used by Whangarei-based organisation OceansWatch. She was not solo this time, having two crew on board.

Because Jessica is too young for a boat licence, Jim Craddock was officially skipper for insurance purposes, but she ‘was skipper and calling the shots’. The trip went largely to plan, with the crew fuelled by bread her mum baked, but tricky wind conditions tested her sailing skills.

Jessica will fly back to Australia in a few days, to look at boats she might use mid-year, in her first attempt to be the youngest person to sail solo across the Tasman.

The S&S (Sparkman and Stevens) 34, a classic design from the famous Sparkman & Stevens, it is known firstly for its seaworthiness, toughness and track record. It is a boat capable of consistent speeds and one that Jessica can easily handle.

The S&S 34 became famous after Jon Sanders, David Dicks and Jesse Martin used them for their history making solo circumnavigations.

There is now an S&S 34 association and hundreds of other S&S 34 have made and are making successful circumnavigations and offshore passages.

S&S 34`s are commonly entered in the notorious Sydney to Hobart and many participate in club racing all around Australia and the world.

more teenage solo sailors here

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10 Responses to “Jessica Watson – Part 1 – Leaving Sydney”

  1. Sue Massey says:


    I’m just getting started with my new blog. Would you want to exchange links on our blog-rolls?

    BTW – I’m up to about 100 visitors per day.

  2. Jessica Watson, sailor, 16 « More Badass Than Ann Coulter says:

    […] summers).  She has a website, sponsors, and supportive parents.  She also has a lot of detractors.  There was a lot of crowing recently, when Jessica took a tough route as a “dry run” […]

  3. Yachting News 30th September 2009 says:

    […] more about Jessica Watson here […]

  4. Yachting News 2nd October 2009 says:

    […] Yachtyakka – Jessica Story here […]

  5. Yachting News 9th November 2009 says:

    […] Where is Jessica Watson now? latest news here […]

  6. Abby Sunderland says:

    […] is five months younger than the other teen currently chasing the title, 16-year-old Australian Jessica Watson. Watson sailed out of Sydney Oct. 18 aboard Ella’s Pink Lady, her Sparkman & Stephens […]

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