Australian Teen Completes Solo Round the World Voyage

May 16, 2010 Updated: May 16, 2010

Courtesy of NTDTV

Thousands of people gathered in Sydney Harbor, Australia, on Saturday to welcome 16-year-old Jessica Watson back to her homeland after she completed a seven-month, non-stop, unassisted solo voyage around the world.

Speaking to the crowd after landing, Jessica said that people base their expectations on appearance. “They don’t realize what young people, what 16-year-olds, and what girls, are capable of,” she said. “It is amazing when you take away those expectations, what you can do, and what you can achieve.”

In her 210-day voyage that was closely tracked by parents, rescue workers, sponsors, and thousands of fans, Jessica sailed 23,000 nautical miles, passing Cape Horn, Cape Agulhas, Cape Leeuwin, and the South East Cape, Tasmania.

Jessica crossed the equator twice, according to her website, making her the youngest person to have accomplished this feat.

Her title, however, is not official, as the World Speed Sailing Racing Council, (WSSRC) no longer recognizes age-related voyages.