Jess faces 'worst' conditions yet

SUNSHINE Coast teen sailor Jessica Watson has been forced to alter her course after encountering waves up to four storeys high today.

A group of low pressure systems off Tasmania are threatening the 16-year-old Buderim schoolgirl’s bid to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo and unassisted, serving up swells Jess described as the worst she had faced on her journey.

Jess has been forced to sail into northern waters to escape the wild conditions, a detour that will add several days to her journey, which she was expected to finished by her 17th birthday on May 18.

While she has been forced off course, Jess will continue to sail around Tasmania to avoid infamous Bass Strait.

A spokesman from the Watson camp said Jess’s safety was more important than the world record and was not concerned by the delay.

“In order to avoid the worst of the weather, Jessica has headed north today. This will delay her arrival back into Sydney, but safety is the first concern of Jessica and all her shore crew,” he said.

“The good news is that conditions should improve towards the end of the week, as Jessica heads towards the south coast of Tasmania.”


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