Young sailor rounds Cape Horn

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The Independent Online

Sixteen-year-old Australian sailor Jessica Watson has rounded the halfway mark of her solo, round-the-world voyage.

Watson's parents are currently in a plane trying to get a glimpse of her as she passes the most southerly point of South America, Cape Horn.

Watson, who lives with her family at Buderim, Queensland, 100 kilometres north of Brisbane, is attempting to become the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world.

She set sail from Sydney in her pink-coloured 34-foot yacht on Oct 18 and planned to make the 38,000-kilometre journey through some of the world's most treacherous waters from Australia and back again in about eight months.

Her plans sparked a debate about whether someone so young should be allowed to try such a potentially dangerous feat. Watson and her family insisted she is an experienced and capable sailor with a strong support team to help lower any potential dangers.

Watson told The Associated Press in an interview before she left Australia that she expected some criticism.

"As long as it's sensible and good advice, you listen to it all," she said. "The one thing I won't accept is when someone calls this reckless. This is years and years of planning and preparation. We haven't just jumped into this."

Sourced from: The New Zealand Herald