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    Australian teen sets sail to break world record

    Date: 10.28.09 | by Judge Tom.

    “Today I am going to sail around the world.”

    Spoken on Sunday, October 18, 2009 by 16-year-old Jessica Watson as she set sail from Sydney, Australia in her pink 34-foot sailboat, Ella’s Pink Lady. Jessica (born on May 18, 1993) plans to sail 23,000 miles around the world along a southern route, returning to the Sydney Harbor in eight months.

    Jessica at sea, one week into her voyage

    In July, 2009, Zac Sunderland from California set the record for the youngest sailor to complete the trip. He was 17 years old. Then, six weeks later, Englishman Mike Perham who is a few months younger than Zac, set a new record.

    On Jessica’s web site is the following quote from Mark Twain:

    “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    Update:  On May 15, 2010 Jessica completed her voyage, sailing into Sydney Harbor while thousands looked on.  After seven months at sea Jessica stepped off her boat onto dry land. One of the first persons to greet her was Mike Perham who flew to Australia for the event. Mike was in touch with Jessica during her voyage and are now reportedly dating. At a press conference she said:

    Jessica and Mike (May, 2010)

    “I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dreams. You don’t have to be someone special to achieve something amazing. You’ve just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard. Anything really is possible.” 

    Congratulations, Jessica.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    • julie
      Wed, 28 Oct 2009 at 06:39

      amazing! very cool!