Jessica Watson today confirmed she will race in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and will skipper the youngest crew to ever compete in this bluewater event.
Jessica Watson announces her exciting new project at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. The event was hosted by Alan Jones AO - Jessica Watson announces "Another Challenge"
The 2011 Young Australian of the Year will skipper a crew of 10, all of whom will be 21 or younger - making them the youngest crew ever to compete in the famous race, with an average age of just 19.
The boat they will be using for this event is the Sydney 38 Another Challenge, which will be painted pink for the race.
Watson's team will be coached by Chris Lewin, who has skippered this boat in four Rolex Sydney Hobarts – most notably in 2004 where he led the (previous) youngest crew of Melbourne Uni students to a third in the Sydney 38 division, and most recently in 2010 where he achieved second, in the division by 29 seconds.
In 2004, Lewin with one decision ensured the young student crew would do well, by doing a trial run to Hobart and back with his full crew.
Another Challenge - Audi Victoria Week, Geelong, Victoria
With an extended 12 week training period starting in October, it would not surprise if Jessica and her young crew, did the same 629 mile x two training run, with Chris Lewin aboard. This would give them the time to understand the course, experience the weather conditions and the tactical options available to them.
Garry Linacre, Commodore of the The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), the host of the iconic race, was delighted to offer Jessica and her crew his support.
'We look forward to Jessica's participation in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart' .
'Jessica has been able to bring together a talented and committed crew that includes Alex Paton, an active member of the CYCA’s Youth Sailing Academy. It is passionate sailors such as these that are the future of sailing in Australia and we wish them all the best in their training and preparation for Australia’s most iconic yacht race, which commences at 1pm on Boxing Day.'
The full crew is Michael Perham (19),another solo circumnavigator from the UK, Peter Woodward (21), Will Broughton (19), Cameron Dale (20), Leigh Thorne (21), Alexandra Paton (20), Levi Curtin (18), Sean Lindsell (21), Genevieve Warlow (19).
Jessica Watson and crew at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia - Jessica Watson announces "Another Challenge"
16 year old circumnavigator Jessica Watson sails back into Sydney Harbour
Jessica Watson at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia - Jessica Watson announces "Another Challenge"