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Plucky Jessica is youngest to sail the world

After a seven-month journey, an Australian teen sailor has crossed the finish line of her round-the-world journey to become the youngest person to circle the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted.

Thousands of spectators erupted into cheers as 16-year-old Jessica Watson docked her pink yacht in Sydney Harbour.

Watson, from Buderim, north of Brisbane in Queensland state, sailed out of Sydney in October. She travelled northeast through the South Pacific and across the equator, south to Cape Horn at the tip of South America, across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa, through the Indian Ocean and around southern Australia.

Australian Jesse Martin holds the current record for the youngest person to sail around the world solo, nonstop and unassisted, after he completed the journey in 1999 at the age of 18. He plans to board Watson's boat and take over as she cruises toward the Opera House, so she can relax and wave to the fans -- many wearing pink clothes and waving pink flags in honour of her yacht's colour.

Watson's feat will not be considered an official world record, because the World Speed Sailing Record Council ended its youngest category.