Sir Francis Chichester was one of my childhood heroes.
He was the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route, and the fastest circumnavigator, taking nine months and one day overall.
I don’t know how many records Jessica Watson broke in her circumnavigation which finished yesterday, but sailing solo round the world, aged 16, in just 210 days is an impressive feat.
So too is her message:
Watson urged others to follow her example by living out their dreams.
“I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dream,” she told a large, cheering welcome-home crowd in Sydney.
“You don’t have to be someone special to achieve something amazing. You’ve just got to have a dream, believe in it and work hard.”
Watson said she hoped her voyage proved what could be achieved by setting your mind to it.
“Anything really is possible.”
I wonder what her parents felt about her embarking on such a journey.
Had she come to grief en route they would have been called irresponsible for letting their daughter attempt such a feat.
Now that she’s succeeded they can be praised for helping her accomplish her dream.