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Saturday 24 February 2018

Round-the-world teen sailor was 'all at sea'

Kristen Gelineau in Sydney

THE 16-year-old Australian who spent seven months sailing around the world said critics who doubted her abilities before she set sail in her pink yacht had some company: herself.

Jessica Watson (pictured), who cruised into Sydney Harbour at the weekend to become the youngest person to sail around the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted, acknowledged last night that she shared people's concerns that she might not be ready for the 23,000-nautical mile journey.

"It was driving me mad, because I hadn't actually done any solo sailing. And here I was telling the world I was about to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world -- and I hadn't actually been out by myself," Jessica told Australia's Ten Network, which helped sponsor her trip.

"I knew I could do it, but there was that niggling doubt, but it was fine in the end obviously."

Jessica spent 210 days successfully manoeuvring her 34-foot yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, through raging storms and 40-foot waves.

The teen's feat will not be considered an official world record because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its 'youngest' category, but that has done little to quell the adoration of her fans.

Irish Independent

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