Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

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/
Sailing adventurer, 2011 Young Australian of the Year and certainly Australia’s most famous teenager Jessica Watson lives on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Yesterday Jessica was at the ADCO Etchells Australasian Winter Championship speaking to sailors and sponsors.

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.’

Southern Spars - 100Bakewell-White Yacht DesignHelm Events 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Wicked
ather and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery Father and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery, but Mark is out on the water, approaching Hobart. From on board he said, 'Amazing race. Barely any windward work. Just does not get better than this. Bit of gear damage cost us early, and we had to sail a little conservatively.'
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Accepting the Challenge
When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South at Christmas time. Luckily this has not been a problem for Chris Mrakas and his new crew, which includes Bruce Reidy
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – 67 out of 70
It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite in the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race so far, then it is more than A+++. Anto Sweetapple from on board the Jones 40, Quetzalcoatl, reports in from at sea for us.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 - The 60 Hour report card
60 hours into the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race. 16 boats finished,five boats retired and 67 boats at sea. The state of play 60 hours into the 72nd running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At 0100hrs Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time this morning, 16 boats had finished the 2016 race. Five boats had retired, and 67 boats were still on the water.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016