Jessica Watson goes 18ft skiffing

Teenage solo round the world sailor experiences another complexion of our sport

Tuesday February 1st 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australia

The fantastic solo round the world deeds of then 16-year-old Jessica Watson have been well documented. They have been subsequently rewarded by the Australian Government last week when she was awarded the honour of being declared ‘Young Australian of the Year’.

The following day, Jess took to the water again when she went for a ride on the Ella Bache 18ft Skiff on Sydney Harbour and thoroughly impressed the skiff’s regular skipper Owen Vale.

Vale commented: “Jessica was great. She showed no sign of anxiety or nerves at stepping on the 18 and we didn’t have to ask her twice whether she wanted to take the tiller. She is without doubt a very capable skipper”.

“Jess loved the sail. Once out on the skiff, she said it was just what she needed. Just to go for a sail on such a beautiful harbour and get away from the cameras and constant public attention”.

“She is a special girl with high powers of motivation and determination. Confident, capable and ambitious, without any trace of arrogance. She also has a wicked sense of humour and I was impressed by her strong social and political awareness”.

Australian 18 Footers League representatives who met her on the day were equally impressed.


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