|Birth Day:||May 18, 1993|
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She lived with her family on a cabin cruiser for five years, and she spent time living in a double-decker bus.
Watson had been planning to complete a solo non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation since at least early 2008. Officially announced in May 2009, the journey was expected to take eight months with an estimated distance of 23,000 nautical miles. To fulfill the plan of sailing non-stop and unassisted, during the journey no other person would be allowed to give her anything and she must not moor to any port or other boat, although advice over radio communication would be permitted.
During a test run sailing from Brisbane to Sydney, on her first night after leaving Brisbane, Ella's Pink Lady collided with the Silver Yang, a 63,000-tonne bulk carrier at about 02.00 am on 9 September 2009 near Point Lookout. Watson's boat was dismasted in the collision. She was able to retain control and return the boat to Southport under motor.
Watson sailed out of Sydney Harbour on 18 October 2009 in her pink-hulled Ella Baché-sponsored Ella's Pink Lady. 18 days later, on 5 November, she passed Tonga, sailing clear of both New Zealand and Fiji.
As required for a full circumnavigation, she crossed the equator on 19 November 2009 (Australian date), near Jarvis Island at about 161°40'W longitude, and rounded Kiritimati on 22 November 2009 (Australian date) after 36 days. Then she crossed the equator again at 156°20'W longitude, and continued south-easterly towards Cape Horn. The sailed distance from Sydney to Kiritimati was about 3,900 nmi. At Christmas she was near Point Nemo, the place located furthest from land.
Watson filmed a documentary about her solo trip before, during and after completing her journey. It was narrated by Sir Richard Branson and premiered on ONEHD on 16 August 2010, before being released on DVD along with a CD album on 20 August 2010.
The final report was released in June 2010. The report stated that both Watson and the Silver Yang's watchkeepers had failed to maintain an adequate lookout and that both had failed to properly employ the navigational aids. In addition, the report found that the watchkeeper on the Silver Yang had failed to offer assistance to Watson after the two vessels had collided.
On 13 January 2010 (9:40 UTC) she passed Cape Horn, having sailed around 9,800 nmi in 87 days. This was 11 days ahead of the planned 100 nmi (190 km) per day schedule. Soon after her parents flew over her in a small plane in order to witness the passage. Just over a week later, on 23 January 2010, several days after passing the Falkland Islands, she suffered four knock-downs in a severe storm with 10-metre waves and 70-knot (130 km/h) winds. The storm caused minor damage to her boat and her emergency beacon was inadvertently activated as the mast hit the water.
The halfway point on the voyage was passed on 25 January 2010, her 100th day at sea, 11,500 nmi (21,300 km) based on the original calculation of 23,000 nmi (43,000 km) sailing route.
On 15 February 2010, she crossed the Prime Meridian, crossing from the Western Hemisphere to the Eastern Hemisphere. This placed her near the Cape of Good Hope, which she passed on 24 February, reaching Cape Agulhas, (the southernmost point of Africa), and crossing from the Atlantic Ocean into the Indian Ocean. From southern Africa, Watson sailed more than 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) towards Western Australia.
Watson arrived in the Australian economic zone on 10 April 2010, celebrating with crackers and Vegemite. There her parents and media flew over her in a small plane in order to welcome her. She passed Cape Leeuwin on south-western Australia two days later, with approximately 2,500 nmi (4,600 km) remaining.
On 3 May, Watson rounded the South East Cape of Tasmania and began heading north to Sydney, her final destination. She completed her journey on day 210 of her voyage at 1:53 pm on 15 May 2010 when she arrived in Sydney Harbour. Her 17th birthday was three days later.
Sailing website Sail-World.com published an analysis on 3 May 2010 which claimed that the expected rhumb line distance travelled by Watson was 19,631.6 nmi (36,357.7 km), which was less than the required distance according to the definition set by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), and that the journey was therefore ineligible to claim world record status for round-the-world journeys. The equivalent orthodromic distance for Watson's route would be 18,582 nmi (34,414 km). The WSSRC definition states in part "The shortest orthodromic track of the vessel must be at least 21,600 nmi (40,000 km) in length." The analysis suggests that Watson's published distance logs are based on sailed distances, including tacks and strategic weather detours, rather than the shortest orthodromic track between islands and capes as defined. The rule is based on the older rule, followed by current record-holder Jesse Martin, that during a circumnavigation the sailor must pass two points on opposite sides of the earth (antipodes). For example, if starting in southern England, a place near the start will be opposite to the track near New Zealand. It was replaced by the rule that for world records the shortest orthodromic track must be at least as long as the circumference of the earth (hence 21,600 nautical miles).
Watson was named the Australian Geographic Society's Young Adventurer of the Year in 2010. She was selected as one of the ten international "2010 Adventurers of the Year" by National Geographic Society, and was the only sailor in the group.
In the months following the completion of Jessica's journey, there were questions about what would become of her boat, Ella's Pink Lady. In April 2011, after the state and federal governments jointly purchased the yacht for $300,000, it was announced that the Pink Lady would have a permanent exhibition at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane.
Watson was named the Young Australian of the Year on 25 January 2011.
Watson was the first female skipper to cross the line in the 2011 Sydney to Hobart and as a result earned the Jane Tate trophy.
Watson took part in the Mini Fastnet sailing race, in Europe, in June 2011, sailing a two-person mini sailboat with Scott Cavanough as skipper. Following the Mini Fastnet, she sailed the Round the Island Race in United Kingdom in June 2011, as a crew member with Phil Baughen as skipper and Michael Perham as third crew member, although they had to retire after boat damage. In August 2011 she sailed in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race with part of her intended Sydney–Hobart crew using the boat Another Challenge. They won their class.
After that, she sailed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in December 2011, skippering Another Challenge with the youngest crew to ever compete in the race, consisting of ten people aged under 22, with Watson aged 18. The boat got the second place in its class, Sydney 38 One Design, with equal standard boats. This was considered a success, since all the other boats in the class had considerably older skippers.
She was selected as one of the entrants to the Who's Who in Australia 2012 edition.
Watson received an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in the Australia Day Honours List in January 2012 for service to sailing and to youth through the achievement of sailing solo and unassisted around the world, and as a role model for young Australians.
She has studied marketing and communications at university. In 2015, she took a position as communications manager for deckee.com, an online forum and business directory for the boating community.
Jessica's parents are New Zealanders Roger and Julie Watson.
Currently, Jessica Watson is 27 years, 9 months and 13 days old. Jessica Watson will celebrate 28th birthday on a Tuesday 18th of May 2021. Below we countdown to Jessica Watson upcoming birthday.
Jessica Watson celebrates birthday
TO CELEBRATE her 17th birthday, Jessica Watson, who returned from her epic around the world sailing journey on Saturday, went frock shopping and had a facial.