Jessica Watson left Sydney, in the 10.2 metre “Pink Lady”, on the 18th October 2009. Returned on 15th May 2010, after completing about 18,265 nautical miles, on her solo round the world sailing trip. – 3 days before her 17th Birthday. This was a non-stop and unassisted journey, unlike some others where stops are undertaken, with assistance and repairs carried out. She crossed the equator near Kiritimati. There has been much said about this voyage not being eligible for the world record, and most criticism lies in the distance being travelled. The world record requires at least 21,600 nautical miles, but her voyage has only been classed as 18,265 nautical miles, by some calculations, although TracPlus data is expected to confirm Jessica’s exact distance as more like 23,000 nautical miles. However, this is a mute point, as the main criteria that cannot be challenged, is that “the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) does not recognise records by sailors under eighteen”.
Her qualifications before she began her trip:
• RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety course (ISAF SR 6.01) Cat zero
• RYA Diesel Engine course
• RYA Radar course
• YAs Safety and Sea Survival certificate
• OMTC issued Certificates of Competence for Apply First Aid HTLF301B
• IMO compliant Elementary First Aid Table A VI/1-3 STCW95
• Yachtmaster Ocean theory certificates
• Radio operator’s license
• About 6,000 coastal and 6,000 ocean miles experience.