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Jess Watson's new record in doubt

Buderim sailor Jessica Watson's world record attempt may be in doubt after Sail World magazine claimed she had travelled far enough.
Buderim sailor Jessica Watson's world record attempt may be in doubt after Sail World magazine claimed she had travelled far enough. Dean Lewins

SUNSHINE Coast teen sailor Jessica Watson has not traveled far enough to claim the record for being the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world, according to the Sail World website.

When Jess, 16, arrives in Sydney Harbour this month, she will not have fulfilled the World Speed Sailing Record Council’s criteria to snatch the record from Jesse Martin, the website claimed.

“She has simply not gone far enough north of the equator,” the magazine said.

“Look at her track and that of Jesse Martin and you can easily see where his extra thousands of miles were sailed.”

The website says a round-the-world voyage must be at least 21,600nm to meet criteria by the WSSRC, the official record body.

That is the shortest possible track around the globe.

However, Sail World says calculations carried out by one of Australian leading offshore navigators, Jess would only have traveled 18,265nm when she sails into Sydney.

Jess’s manager, Andrew Fraser, dismissed the claim as “ridiculous”.

He said the WSSRC was never going to recognise Jessica’s record because it did not accept records by sailors under 18.

“They discourage people under 18 from sailing,” he told media.

“The bottom line is, and this is quoted from (the WSSRC), to sail around the world a vessel must start and return from the same point, cross all meridians of longitude and cross the Equator, she’s done all of that.”



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