The pink little sprout that’s 16.year-old Jessica Watson set off today with a small flotilla of well-wishers on her attempt to be the youngest circumnavigator in history. Unlike the uninteresting efforts of Mike Perham and Zack Sunderland’s recent stop-laden circumnavigations, Watson is going for all the marbles – unassisted and non-stop back to Sydney.
Whether she makes it isn’t really the point; one way or another, this little girl’s bright pink voyage has already created more world-wide interest than the other two kids’ trips, focusing a spotlight on ocean ‘adventure sailing’ that hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.
If she does make it, solo sailing will seem infinitely more accessible than ever before. If she doesn’t, it’ll confirm the fears of a lot of experienced sailors who’ve said she’s a nutter or a tool manipulated by members of a publicity seeking family and media team. Time will tell, but in the meantime, we say "sail fast, chick."