Sailing solo around world non-stop at 15

A 15-year-old girl planning to sail solo and non-stop around the world starting in November is this week experiencing the rugged Southern Ocean in advance.
Australia-based Jessica Watson's preparation for the round-the-world attempt includes joining the crew of the Evohe sailing boat on a trip from Bluff to the Auckland Islands.
The trip would allow her to experience the cold Southern Ocean conditions ahead of her solo attempt, she said. All going to plan, she will embark on her world trip from Brisbane in November, sailing a 34-foot yacht with enoughfood and equipment aboard to last eight months and 2200 nautical miles.
Her dad is worried she will get lonely, mum is worried about rough weather and she is worried about equipment failure and not being able to fix it, she said.
Much of her time on the yacht will be spent on maintenance work, schoolwork, watching DVDs and reading adventure novels, she said.
Among the food on board would be a bilge full of chocolate, her favourite food.
Her "nervous but confident" mother, Julie Watson, said Jessica was an accomplished sailor and very focused on the task ahead.
"A lot of people say `how ridiculous, she is 15'. But I would say if they had a daughter like mine they would let her go. She instils confidence in you."
Jessica's Cromwell-based grandfather, Gordon Chisholm, said he had total confidence in her.
"I think if it really turned to custard she would have the wisdom to pull out and that's a very important thing."
She leaves Brisbane on November 7 and plans to sail south of New Zealand and Cape Horn, up to the equator in the Atlantic and back to Brisbane via the Cape of Good Hope and the Indian Ocean.
If successful, she will complete the voyage soon after turning 17, breaking the record for the youngest person by a year.
source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/southlandtimes/4853246a6568.html
Sailing solo around world non-stop at 15 Sailing solo around world non-stop at 15 Reviewed by Panos Douros on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 Rating: 5

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