HOBART, Australia (AP) — Teenager Jessica Watson can add the grueling and often dangerous Sydney to Hobart yacht race to her list of sailing accomplishments.
The 18-year-old Watson, who last year became the youngest person to sail around the world solo, nonstop and unassisted, finished 37th Friday of 88 starting yachts.
Her yacht crossed the line at Constitution Docks at 3:12 p.m. (0412 GMT) in four days, two hours and 12 minutes, nearly two days behind winning supermaxi Investec Loyal in the 628-nautical-mile race.
Watson took the helm of a Sydney 38-class boat with a youngest-ever race crew of 10 including fellow solo circumnavigator Mike Perham of Britain. The average age of Watson’s crew, which made a practice run from Sydney to Hobart in November, was 19.
“We avoided most of the bad conditions on the first night,” Watson told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. “It still wasn’t easy, a lot of people were seasick, but it was as good as anyone could have hoped for.”
Watson paid credit to her crewmembers, despite being thrown in the water by several of them in celebrations at Constitution Dock shortly after the boat crossed the line.
“All the credit goes to them, I just held on for the ride,” Watson said. “I am just going to dry off and have something to eat.”