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  #11  
Old 09-10-2009
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Last edited by lporcano; 03-23-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lporcano View Post
So far the record for teenagers sailing around the world alone is still better than for people over 30. Of course it is a small sample size.
I would suggest that the reason for your statistic has more to do with the fact that teenagers are always held up to the international sailing fraternity as being somehow special and thus are better remembered.

There are hundreds of people over the age of thirty that are sailing single-handed voyages on any giving day and that's not counting professional sailors engaged in races and record breaking attempts (Vendee Globe, Around-Alone, etc).

I would be interested to see your list of teenagers that have done successful solo circumnavs. I can recall a handful (maybe two handfuls).
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2009
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2009
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This is a direct quote from a press release on her website.

"Despite the incident, Jessica is still in high spirits and acknowledges the on-going support of her family, friends and sponsors who are all solidly behind her record breaking bid to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world."

So it it appears as though this venture is about the record book and the rules that must be followed to achieve that record.
They have several sponsors that are highly visible on their web page so it can be assumed that money is a significant factor.

The 16 year old is a minor so her parents are legally responsible for decisions of this type. If I as a parent let my 16 year old drive a car to a job, I am risking her life in the hopes that the experience and money she gets from that job justify the risk. Many parents take that risk. Some wait till the child is 16 1/2 some 17 etc.

In this case the parents are risking their daughters life, according to their own press release, to achieve a record. Along with that record will come a career and no doubt an increase of fortune for the family.

So the question is is this risk worth it? For the vast majority of parents, even parents who understand the sea, I suspect the answer is no.
These parents have made the decision to take the risk.
I wish them well, I hope they don't lose their daughter. Personally I would not do it.

One could argue that the financial incentive is secondary and the motive is the great experience. If that was the real motive the trip could be delayed till the girl was 18. She could have a great experience a couple years later just as well as now. Of course that would not be worth a record title and the money.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with taking a risk for money. We all do it every day. Most parents however are not willing to take a big risk with their minor children for money.

I would really really hate to be them if something goes wrong.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-10-2009 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-10-2009
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I've checked her site and blog for this quote you speak of, might you provide the link as was not able to find the article.
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2009
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Well,
It sounds like she will head off again as soon as repairs are done.
Omatako has a good point ( more than one actually). There are lots of solo sailors doing their stuff on the quiet. So does David. Publicity wont hurt her.


I know everyone is divided on whether she should go or her parents should let her, but she is going, so good luck, fair winds and a safe trip.

Cheers
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Old 09-10-2009
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The parents
Jessica Watson older and wiser after yacht crash

Two weeks for repair
Repairs start on teen solo sailor's yacht | Herald Sun

Here you go artfull
Jessica Watson - youngest ever to sail around the world

The nice thing about this media and money fueled process is that it can go on in incrementally more and more steps so it never has to end.

The youngest to solo climb Mt. Everest
The youngest to solo cave dive 160 meters deep in the sump "Divjak"
The youngest to row across the Atlantic
The youngest sky diver

So the quest for fame and fortune (Jessica has a media consulting group) will compel an endless stream of younger and younger children to attempt more and more dangerous news worthy stunts with no end in sight.

Of course there is a predictable end. Some of the children will die. Once that happens the media will make its money with breathless reports and endless analysis.

Or of course thoughtful reasonably prudent people could just decide that prudent seamanship requires at least the maturity to enter into a legal contract before ocean crossing's.
The lure of big money and fame however will most likely win out over prudence and we will have to work our way though the inevitable media cycle to its inevitable conclusion.

In contract, almost the opposite extreme is Lin and Larry Pardee's attitude. I can't find the reference, I've looked. They don't carry any means to send a distress signal because I'm paraphrasing. "We have been doing this for over 50 years and are supposed to know what we are doing. We do this because we want to and take every precaution to be prepared to take care of ourselves. If we get into trouble that we can't handle ourselves we don't want to risk the life of some 25 year old coasty to save our wrinkled old butts."
I'm not sure I agree with their attitude either but wow what a contrast in accepting responsibility for ones-self and respecting others even paid professionals.

Laws will eventually have to be passed. It should be pretty simple to discourage if not prevent because if a skipper is too young to legally enter into a contract it should be rather easy to deny the boat access to ports. I'm not advocating laws I'm just saying it seems like the money pressure will require them.
It is not that much different than the need for steroid laws. The money pressure was so great the athletes were willing to ruin their health to the point of death. The only solution was laws.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-10-2009 at 10:27 PM.
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  #18  
Old 09-10-2009
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What I'm really afraid of for this young lady is the pressures that she is under now. Even if she has figured out by herself that she is in way over her head what can she do? The event has propelled her to international fame. Her media handlers and sponsors are super excited that now they can capitalize on this and spin a fantastic story of courage and determination and make potentially millions.

It would take an extraordinary adult to to face those pressures and economic realities and truthfully say, "I'm not ready".

For a 16 year old to face her parents dreams and the sponsors and media people and make a real personal decision would be one in thousands.

It will be way easier for her to continue and die trying. Now that is really sad.

I'm 58 years old and have been running a computer company for 20 years and it took me several weeks to be reasonably comfortable with a garmon Colorado. But even now it surprises me with some details and idiosyncrasies on occasion after using it almost daily for three months.

This young lady has a very sophisticated electronics setup, probably a hundred times more complicated than my handheld, and was down below during the collision. If I had to guess she was messing with the nav equipment that she only superficially understands.

Last edited by davidpm; 09-10-2009 at 10:38 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-11-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
This young lady has a very sophisticated electronics setup, probably a hundred times more complicated than my handheld, and was down below during the collision. If I had to guess she was messing with the nav equipment that she only superficially understands.
It was a sea trial, not the actual trip. Good point on learning the equipment. Its probably part of it, but just speculation.
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Old 09-11-2009
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Thanks davidpm for posting some excellent comments explaining the real issue. I'm not sure how many postings I've read here and elsewhere on this matter. Endless debates about whether she has enough experience, whether the boat is equipped properly, whether she handled the situation correctly. Let me say at the outset that I accept without question that she is a capable sailor who is probably as well prepared as any can be.

To me, none of that is relevant.

You see, to me, this isn't about Jessica, it is about the rest of us. WE create the market by following this stuff. Which brings the media and the sponsors crawling out from under their rocks. And where there's money, there'll be new attempts, as davidpm says. Youngest around the world solo at 16... nah.. already got a 13 year old wants to try. Why stop her? After all she's only a couple years younger. Why not 12? Or 10?

And kids will die.

So to me, there's a line that shouldn't be crossed. I've got absolutely NO objections to Jessica having the experience of her life doing this trip. I'll be out there cheering her on along with the rest of the crowd.

Just as long as she starts on her 18th birthday.
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