It’s been seven long, lonely months but tomorrow morning, intrepid yachtswoman, Jessica Watson returns home to dry land.

Celebrations likened to New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras are planned for the sailing teen with thousands of people expected to line Sydney harbour to welcome her home.

Bridget Backhaus reports.

[flashvideo file= /]


Jessica Watson will get the best present of all – returning home from her solo round-the-world adventure to family, friends and a crowd of well-wishers just in time for her 17th birthday.

In contrast to the past few weeks of stormy weather and media storms, it will be smooth sailing for Jessica with clear skies and light winds forecast for tomorrow’s homecoming.

Despite her first dry run ending in a collision with a cargo ship, Jess was confident from day one.

Jessica Watson, Sailor: “It’s huge, it’s a lot of time and effort for me, it’s a huge thing, and it’s amazing to have a goal like this because nothing’s too hard, I can do anything for this goal, to the finish line.”

The final leg of her journey has been marred with criticism and questions over the validity of her world record attempt. But no-one can dispute this teen’s extraordinary achievement.

Ian Kiernan, Solo Yachtsman: “She’s an exceptional young Australian and she’s conducted herself in an extremely professional way. I’m just pleased that she’s nearly here.”

Jess is expected to arrive in Sydney Harbour at around 11 o’clock tomorrow morning.

Bridget Backhaus, QUT News