Australia's No. 1 sailor Jessica Watson has become a No. 1 author this week, when Hachette Australia announced that the teenage sailor's memoir of her recent voyage had become the biggest selling book in Australia.
Demonstrating just how Australians had taken Jessica and her story of her round world voyage to heart, they purchased more than 10,000 copies of her book True Spirit in 10 days, the book publisher announced. This is a large number in for the country's small population of 22 million.
The latest Nielsen BookScan, based on data from 1000 retailers nationwide, shows True Spirit at No.1 for the week ending August 7.
The book is based on the blogs Jessica wrote after she set out last year at the age of 16 to become the youngest person to sail solo around the globe non-stop and unassisted. Her achievement, which involved a voyage mostly through the wild waters of the Southern Ocean and included rounding Cape Horn, was underlined by the dismasting of her American rival Abby Sunderland, who had to be rescued from the south Indian Ocean.
While Abby's family have since faced a torrent of abuse and, according to reports are in financial trouble after the costly venture, Jessica has accrued adulation for her feat, and a financial bonanza for her and her family.
Hachette Australia publisher Vanessa Radnidge said that 10,462 copies of the book sold in the first 10 days of sales.
Jessica has been touring Australia to publicise the book, as well as working on the television documentary recently screened, narrated by Britain's Sir Richard Branson.
Next, she will tour both America and Europe to publicise her book, the tour being organised by the publisher, the Hachette Book Group, www.hachettebookgroup.com
The next teen solo sailor, 14-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker, is about to set out within days for her own circumnavigation.