Skip to main content

Jessica Watson Enters Sydney-Hobart Race

Turning 18 has its perks: the ability to vote, open a bank account and purchase lottery tickets, to name a few. But to Jessica Watson, named Young Australian of the Year in 2010 for being the youngest person to (unofficially) complete a nonstop and unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world, turning 18 meant something entirely different: the ability to enter the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Turning 18 has its perks: the ability to vote, open a bank account and purchase lottery tickets, to name a few. But to Jessica Watson, named Young Australian of the Year in 2010 for being the youngest person to (unofficially) complete a nonstop and unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world, turning 18 meant something entirely different: the ability to enter the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. On December 26, Watson will vie to become the youngest skipper with the youngest crew to ever compete in the iconic race.

Set on the waters of Sydney Harbour, the Tasman Sea, Storm Bay and the Derwent River, the 66-year-old Rolex Sydney Hobart is illustrious for maintaining high standards for yacht race entry, including a minimum skipper age of 18. Watson turned 18 in May and began a three-month-long intensive training program with her crew in October. Chris Lewin, who led the race’s former youngest crew to a 3rd-place finish in the Sydney 38 Division in 2004, is coaching the team.

Watson’s crew will consist of ten individuals, none of whom are older than 21, aboard the aptly named another Challenge. The Australian skincare line Ella Bach, who also sponsored Watson’s solo circumnavigation, provided the pink Sydney 38 OD, which has seen success in several Rolex Sydney Hobarts since its first race in 2000. Amongst other notable crew members is Mike Perham, who became the youngest person to sail solo assisted around the world in 2009.

Garry Linacre, Commodore of The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and the race’s host says, “It is passionate sailors such as these that are the future of sailing in Australia and we wish them all the best in their training and preparation for Australia’s most iconic yacht race.”

For more information on Watson’s involvement in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, click here. You can also track the crew’s progress on their Facebook page.

Related

maintenance

Cruising: Old Sailors Never Die

“Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.” It may be a hoary old joke, but one of my problems at age 79 is I can no longer get easily in and out of a little dinghy, and neither can my (several years younger than me) wife. For this, and various other reasons I will ...read more

01-LEAD-DSC_0953

The Mighty Compass

Here’s to the humble magnetic compass, without a doubt the sailor’s most reliable instrument onboard. It’s always there for you and with the rarest of exceptions, always operational. Yes, I love my chartplotter, autopilot, radar and AIS. They help me be a safer and more ...read more

02-En-route-Jost-Van-D

Chartering: Swan Song in the BVI

Joseph Conrad once wrote, “The sea never changes.” And while this may or not be true, something most definitely not open for debate is the fact we sailors, “wrapped in mystery,” as Conrad put it, are continually changing—whether we like it or not. I found myself thinking these ...read more

220307FP51_1JML0332

Boat Review: Fountaine-Pajot Aura 51

If you can sell more than 150 catamarans off-plan before the resin has even hit the fiberglass, you must be doing something right. Despite costing around $1.1 million once fitted out and on the water, Fountaine-Pajot’s new 51 has done just that. The French yard has been at it ...read more

00LEAD-IMG-9035

Ready to Fly a New Sail

It’s a typical humid, southern Chesapeake Bay summer day when I show up on the doorstep of Latell & Ailsworth Sailmakers in the one-stoplight, one-lane-roadway, rural tidewater town of Deltaville, Virginia. I’m late getting here to work on a new jib for my 29-foot, Bill ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Dates for the 2024 America’s Cup Announced

Ever since making the controversial decision to hold the next America’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain, instead of in home waters, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand has been hard at work organizing logistics for the event.  The Racing Area for the Challenger Selection Series and the ...read more

00LEAD

A Force for Change: Captain Liz Gillooly

I first heard about Capt. Liz Gillooly in 2016 from my cousin while working three jobs in our shared hometown on the North Fork of Long Island and living with my parents to save money for a boat. But despite being the same age and growing up only 13 miles apart, Liz and I never ...read more

291726157_3222349914654950_8713674249134934221_n-2-1024x684

Sailing in the Growth Zone

The Goal This year, I’ve had a specific goal to be a better sailor. Some people have laughed and said, “Why do you need to be a better sailor? This was my 22nd year racing on the same boat, with the same crew. I like to win and want to make sure we stay at the top of the fleet. ...read more