You just can't keep her ashore (or separate her from a slick, high-profile, marketing strategy). Already the youngest ever to circumnvigate the globe solo and non-stop, Jessica Watson, now 18 and eligible for the Sydney-Hobart Race, has put together the youngest-ever crew (average age 19) in a sponsored Sydney 38 called "Ella Bache' Another Challenge."
The early weather report looks a lot more forgiving than the brutal 1998 year, which sank five yachts and killed six sailors. But it won't be a milk run. After an initial northerly serves up an easy downwind run, the wind will go south and pump up to 30 or more knots. That means a snot-buster across the Bass Strait, which would test any crew (cont.)…
So best of luck to all entrants, and it will be fun to see how Watson and her young 'uns handle one of the world's most popular–and notorious–ocean races.
They've already done one not-so-dry run to Hobart. So at least they know the way.