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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
jwatson1

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

IMG_9978

Charter: More for Your Money

Though summer may not be when you typically think of escaping to a tropical island, it could, in fact, be the perfect time for a charter holiday. Despite popular perception, the Caribbean isn’t hot as Hades during summer. In fact, the highs vary by only about 8 degrees F ...read more

Riley-and-Elayna,-Sailing-La-Vagabonde

Sailing in the YouTube Era

At the risk of both dating myself and being accused of gross hyperbole, I will say this: it was a bit like 1964 when the Beatles first landed in New York. What I’m referring to is last fall’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. Playing the role of the Beatles were not one, but two ...read more

Bill-Hatfield-copy-1024x665

Cruising: Solo Circumnavigators

There seems to be no age limit for solo-circumnavigators. Not so long ago we had Californian Jeff Hartjoy set a record for the oldest American to sail around the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted, at the age of 70. A few months ago, 77-year-old Briton Jeanne Socrates became the ...read more

bookrev

Book Review: One-Pot Wonders

James Barber Harbour Publishing, $14.95 I’ll bet a filet mignon against a can of Dinty Moore that almost every cruising cook has read and discarded a goodly number of seagoing recipe books. Some are so simple as to be insulting. Others require too many exotic and perishable ...read more

_DSC7508

A Great Lakes Sailor Rediscovers Cruising

It had been seven years since I’d taken my Westsail 32, Antares, out for more than an afternoon day sail. Such is the reality when taking care of an elderly parent. However, a year ago my dad passed away at the age of 100, and after we sold the family home, I found myself living ...read more

45191357

New Boats: Hinckley Sou’wester 53

The history of sailing is replete with examples of boats being repurposed after their initial launch—think of the famed yacht America also doing service as a blockade runner in the Civil War. Rarely, though, has an updated design done half so well as the Hinckley Bermuda 50’s ...read more

kos

A Troubled Cruise to the Aegean Sea

My goal, I thought, was modest: two weeks from Cyprus to Mykonos and then two more weeks for the return via Santorini and Rhodes. Not too much to ask of a boat, skipper and crew that had crossed the Atlantic. I had even envisioned the article I would write: Five Best Isles of the ...read more