Jessica Watson with her mum and dad.
Jessica Watson with her mum and dad.

Jessica Watson hits back at critics

SUNSHINE Coast sailor Jessica Watson has hit back at critics who say she has not travelled far enough to break a world record.

In her latest blog, Jessica said she had been 'having a bit of a giggle over the whole thing'.

"If I haven't been sailing around the world, then it beats me what I've been doing out here all this time!  Yes it's a shame that my voyage won't be recognised by a few organisations because I'm under 18, but it really doesn't worry me.

"I mean there's millions, properly billions of people who still don't believe in global warming, so I'm more than happy to settle for a few people going against the tide and declaring that mine hasn't been an official circumnavigation.

"Well I think I've wasted more than enough time on the whole petty debate - so moving on!"

It was revealed this week that the Buderim schoolgirl's voyage would not be validated as a world record by the World Speed Sailing Record Council, which adjudicates sailing records.

Under the council's guidelines, Jessica is too young to qualify for a record.

A recordholder, under recent guidelines brought in after Jesse Martin set his sailing record, has to have a minimum age of 18.

According to an article posted on Sail-World.com, the distance Jess has travelled would fall short of world record standard also.

“She has simply not gone far enough north of the equator,” the article said.

“Look at her track and that of Jesse Martin and you can easily see where his extra thousands of miles were sailed.”

Council guidelines state that the minimum distance for a round-the-world record attempt is 21,600 nautical miles.

The Sail-World article said calculations found Jess will have travelled only 18,265 nautical miles when she sails into Sydney, falling about 3000 short.

Jessica wrote in her latest blog she had experienced every kind of weather in the past few days - sunshine, some strong winds and a thunderstorm.

Despite losing some stitching on her repairs on her main sail, "sore hands and a little issue with the engine I'm trying to sort out at the moment, I couldn't be in better sprits''.

"I'm having the time of my life slowly cruising up the coast, not pushing Ella's Pink Lady too hard, and looking forward to arriving on the 15th (of this month). I'm enjoying all the highs of solo sailing and in just a few days, I've got seeing friends and family to look forward to.

"I think I can safely say that I'm now seriously excited about getting home! It's probably a good thing that I'm by myself because if there was anyone else here I'd be driving them mad with all my hyperactive energy''


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