Teen sailor days away from record

Teen sailor days away from record

After completing more than 20,000 nautical miles, schoolgirl Jessica Watson had to fight harsh weather while sailing around Tasmania, with 12 metre-high swells and 55-knot winds buffeting her boat.

“The last two weeks were the most difficult,” Watson’s manager Andrew Fraser said. “That region of ocean is quite notorious for its treacherous conditions. We are just relieved that Jessica has managed to negotiate her way through.”

The dangerous weather has taken its toll on the teenager, who on her blog reported sore muscles and bruises after her 33-foot bright pink yacht “Ella’s Pink Lady” fought through the huge waves.

In her latest entry on Monday, the 16-year-old said she had rounded Tasmania’s South-East Cape and was now sailing north towards Sydney. Watson is less than 1,600 km from the finish line of her 23,000 nautical mile (38,000 km) solo round-the-world trip, non-stop and unassisted.

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