May 26, 2013 | 08:54 AM (BD Time)
26 May, 2013 Sunday
Teenage round-the-world sailor takes on racing challenge
CNN Online :
While many teenagers will be focusing on opening presents and eating turkey, this Christmas Day Jessica Watson will be pouring over weather maps. After circumnavigating the globe by herself at the age of just 16, it would be easy to presume that a 628-nautical-mile race would not faze the sailor. But the Australian teen is not taking any chances when she enters the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, beginning on December 26.
Now aged 18, Watson will skipper the youngest-ever crew in the ocean race.
"We've ticked all the boxes", says Watson. "This last week is all about keeping your cool."
Watson became the youngest person ever to sail around the world non-stop and unassisted last year. Her 23,000-nautical-mile journey came to an end in Sydney Harbor amid much fanfare. Thousands of people lined the foreshore to greet her, leisure boats sailed through the heads alongside her and she was officially welcomed home by the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It is in the same harbor where the celebrations took place that the Rolex Sydney to Hobart will start next week. Watson will skipper "Another Challenge," one of 89 boats in the fleet this year. Round-the-world is all about slow and steady and keeping your head together for the 200-plus days. "Round-the-world is all about slow and steady and keeping your head together for the 200-plus days," says Watson. This race provides a completely different challenge of leading a team, where the average age is only 19.
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