16 year-old Australian sailor crosses the finish line in Sydney after 210 days at sea
Australian teenager Jessica Watson arrived home yesterday (Saturday 15 May), after completing her solo circumnavigation on the 34ft Ella Pink Lady. Hundreds of boats and huge crowds on the harbour welcomed the 16 year-old back, 210 days after she left on a grey day in October 2009.
A choppy swell slowed Jessica’s arrival as she sailed across the finish line between Sydney Heads. New South Wales Maritime did their best to maintain a 100-metre exclusion zone around Pink Lady as she sailed into Sydney, but they could not keep the excited spectators at bay.
Fellow Australian Jesse Martin, who at 18 set the WSSRC Round the World record, and British sailor Mike Pelham, who completed his own circumnavigation last year, stepped aboard Pink Lady to congratulate the young sailor.
Once ashore, Jessica made her way to the steps of the Sydney Opera House, where the Australian Prime Minister met her to offer his own congratulations: “At sixteen years old you are a hero to all young Australians. You are also a hero to all young Australian women. You do our nation proud.”
To read more about Jessica, visit www.jessicawatson.com.au