Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Australian sailing adventurer Jessica Watson – hard work is the key

by ADCO Etchells Australasian Winters media on 9 Jun 2012
Jessica Watson ADCO Etchells Australasian Winters 2012 h Mike Kenyon http://kenyonsportsphotos.com.au/
Jessica Watson, 2011 Young Australian of the Year and certainly Australia’s most famous sailing teenager made world headlines when she successfully sailed solo through the Southern Ocean and around the globe when still just 16.

She returned to a hero's welcome and a movie star existence in Australia where she is feted and adored by the Australian public - even those who don't sail.

This week she was at the ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship speaking to sailors and sponsor and we took the opportunity to catch up with the busy 19 year old.


Jessica began by explaining ‘Last year as Young Australian of the Year, I saw a lot of Australia. We did schools tours all over the country and it was a pretty chock-a-block year.

‘The best bit is the people you get to meet. Spending time with people like Simon McKeon, the Australian of the Year, he is an amazing guy and sailor and does so much for the community. Meeting people like that in every state and all over the place and particularly the young people was really, really cool.

‘Spending time all around Australia you discover just how many interesting people are out there in lots of fields but in sailing too. There are little yacht clubs around Australia and I was recently in Launceston, Tasmanian with all the kids, Optimist sailors, a huge horde of them and that was incredible. To discover amazing clubs all around Australia has been really great.

‘In such an intense program you do learn a lot about yourself. I think the big thing I took away from it was that I love sailing and I love what I am doing now but I also realised that I loved working with schools and working with different organizations. That’s why I am doing a university course with youth work/social work areas in mind.

‘It’s all about taking on challenges. I have written a book and I still can’t spell to save my life, and dancing, I am un-coordinated as all hell and I still got, in a few weeks, up to some kind of speed. (reference to Jessica’s recent appearance in a reality television dancing show.)

‘It’s just the same message. You don’t have to be anyone special to do something in particular - you know just give it a shot. It is going to take hard work and that is a key, really, to everything in life.

‘In the same vein last year we set ourselves another challenge, which was the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

‘We did the full dry run to Hobart in advance, which was really, really worthwhile not just to tick off safety boxes, do a few sea miles and for the relevant qualifying but because we actually ended up with pretty much exactly the same conditions as in the race. It worked out to be ideal, which was purely a coincidence.

‘We did three months full time training and we sailed down to Hobart and spent a week there chatting to locals, sailing the Derwent river and things like that.



‘We ticked every box. There was a mixture of sailing skills on board and there were some very good sailors but we were all new to the boat and sailing with each other. It was just straight out hard yards – but that meant we placed well in the race.

‘When I was a little kid I wanted to be a ship’s captain but I decided it is better as a sport than as a full time occupation. This year I have taken a bit of a land change but it will be back to sailing soon I hope.

‘I have started Uni which is exciting. I am studying sociology, part time to fit it in, with the plan of heading into youth work and social work areas. Open Uni is so flexible and online makes it easier. There’s lots of reading and I am absolutely loving it.

‘I have sailed since I was eleven, so I did something ‘girly’ for once.

‘I have been doing Dancing with the Stars for the last few months, which has been quite an experience. It was completely out of my comfort zone. A high heeled challenge, which has been hard. It was just one of those things I wanted to give a go. The last few months have been extraordinarily busy, at least it was physical because otherwise I would not have had time for a single bit of exercise.

‘Now it is over, it’s the final week next week I am looking ahead and to the rest of the season of sailing.

‘I am looking forward to having weekends back so I can go out sailing. I haven’t been out on the water in a while and it has been driving me nuts.

‘As well as Hamilton Island Race Week, I am keen to sail at Airlie Beach Race Week this year and so will see what else comes up for a small (48kg) crew member.

‘This weekend though I’ll be watching the Etchells out the window while I am studying.’

Bakewell-White Yacht Designupffront 660x82Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted on 25 Aug
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted on 25 Aug
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted on 25 Aug
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug