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so far so good

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so far so good

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Date: October 18, 2009 11:14PM

Haha that's funny.


Teenage adventurer Jessica Watson is finally set sail on her quest to make history.

Well-wishers thronged The Spit in Sydney's Middle Harbour as the 16-year-old cast off around 9am (AEDT) in her yacht Ella's Pink Lady.

The Queensland teenager wants to become the youngest person to sail single-handedly around the world.

Jessica Watson has officially started her world record attempt after being farewelled by family, friends and many spectators when she sailed out from Sydney Heads on Sunday morning.

Her spokesman Andrew Fraser said Jessica got off to a good start and many people came out in boats and lined the headland to cheer her on when she took off aboard her yacht, Ella's Pink Lady, from the Spit in Middle Harbour.

"There is probably about 100 boats out here (seeing her off)," he said.

Mr Fraser said the weather conditions were good and that winds should pick up once she got past the heads.

NSW Maritime boats escorted Jessica out of the Heads.

The teenager from Queensland's Sunshine Coast and her team spent Saturday "fine-tuning" their preparations and planned to get a good night's sleep.

Mr Fraser said she was relieved and upbeat to be finally beginning her voyage, after being delayed in Sydney by gusty winds last week.

"I said: 'How are you feeling?'," Andrew Fraser told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

"She said: 'I wake up tomorrow and sail around the world'."

Jessica is setting off on her quest despite calls for her to abandon the voyage from the likes of the Queensland government and some of Australia's most experienced sailors.

Concerns were heightened when her yacht collided with a 63,000-tonne cargo vessel off North Stradbroke Island during an aborted journey to Sydney last month.

But Mr Fraser dismissed the doubters.

"Let's have this conversation in eight months," he said, referring to the time Jessica is expected to take to sail around the world.

"It (the collision) may have been a blessing in disguise, to be honest," Mr Fraser said.

"I think we've learnt a lot from that experience, (and) Jessica has learnt a lot."

After leaving Sydney the 16-year-old will head towards northern New Zealand, then to Fiji, Samoa, South America and South Africa, then sail the final leg of 4000 nautical miles back to Australia.

Her route will be similar to that taken by Australian Kay Cottee, who became the first woman to sail solo, unassisted and non-stop around the world in 1988.