Wednesday, August 12, 2009

16 year old Jessica Watson to circumnavigate the world

Meet a remarkable young woman. In September, Jessica Watson plans to set-sail from Sydney and re-write the record held by another Australian. Jessica hopes to cement her place in maritime history by being the youngest person on earth to sail non-stop unassisted around the world, beating the record set by Jesse Martin.

At just 16 years of age, Jessica was finally able to hold a skipper’s licence on her birthday last May. Since then, it has been full steam ahead with her final preparations and plans for the departure. To set the record, she plans to spend around 230 days at sea, without pulling into any ports, without taking on further provisions, apart from what she set-off with.

There has been plenty of criticism, plenty of media focus, and plenty of pressure.

Can she do it?

Well, take a listen to my 30 minute interview with Jessica at this year’s Sydney International Boat Show. During the interview, we cover all aspects of her voyage, both practical and psychological. She never baulks at any question, seems to have considered all the possibilities, and genuinely holds her own, particularly considering there is an audience of about 300 watching and listening. Not bad for a 16 year old. Enjoy this audio file as an amazing prelude to what will unfold into a history-making voyage.