Sport Innovation/Jessica Watson/Project Lifecycle, Phases & Tasks

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Jessica Watson: The Youngest Person to Solo Circumnavigate the Globe


Project Scope

Project Lifecycle, Phases & Tasks[edit | edit source]

Defining Phase[edit | edit source]



Ella’s Pink Lady was a Sparkman & Stephens 34 yacht purchased via Trade-a-Boat’s sale section. Built in 1984, featuring a solid rig and fitted with a new engine, it was later refit to accommodate the worldwide voyage.

  • Overall Length: 10.23m
  • Waterline Length: 7.37m
  • Beam: 3.08m
  • Draft: 1.83m


Jessica and her Team thoroughly researched, collaborated with other sailors, and contacted the WSSRC for almost 2 years prior to her journey in order to meet the desired criteria.

Planning Phase[edit | edit source]

Funding & Costs

The main avenue of support came from the boat refit team; this involved the initial investment of the rig by close friend and prior solo circumnavigator, Don McIntyre, boat refit manager Bruce Arms, and several other volunteers. Up to 11 corporate executives, retired carpenters, sailors and friends Australia-wide would work on the boat at any one time, with Watson's parents feeding and housing all involved. Parts were donated, purchased and assembled all without costs, contributing to effectively minimising budget costs.


Initial outlay cost was $55, 000, with a refit cost of $44, 000:

  • New rig $10, 000
  • Extra sails (Hong Kong) $5, 000
  • Essential electricals (solar panel + wind generator) $5, 000
  • Safety gear $5, 000
  • Wind instruments, radar, HF, VHR, Echomax transponder $6, 500
  • Windows, hatches + deck gear $3, 500
  • Pumps + plumbing $2, 000
  • Windvane + extra autopilot $3, 000
  • 2x Iridium handsets $1, 000
  • Slipping, paints, etc. $3, 000

(McIntyre, 2009)

In addition to the vessel, other costs such as electronics, consumables, personal items were covered by Watson and sponsors (e.g. IGA).


Watson undertook extensive training whereby she crewed and skippered on several vessels that travelled challenging waters like the Tasman Sea.

Qualifications prior to the voyage:

  • RYA/ISAF Offshore Safety course (ISAF SR 6.01) Cat zero (one day 8-hour course)
  • RYA Diesel Engine course (one day 8-hour course)
  • RYA Radar course (one day 8-hour course)
  • YA's Safety and Sea Survival certificate (two day 16-hour course)
  • OMTC issued Certificates of Competence for Apply First Aid HTLF301B
  • IMO compliant Elementary First Aid Table A VI/1-3 STCW95 (one day 8-hour course)
  • Yachtmaster Ocean theory certificates (40-hour course)
  • Radio operator’s licence
  • ~6,000 coastal and 6,000 ocean miles experience

Note. Obtained via donation by Don McIntyre (Knudsen, 2009).

Executing Phase[edit | edit source]

Status Reports

Watson was tracked continually through GPS tracking navigation and communication systems. She also updated her online blog weekly, to report any significant events.


Projected completion forecasts had Watson arriving back in Sydney Harbour sometime during June 2010. As her journey progressed this date was moved forward to 16 May 2010. Jessica returned home on the 15 May 2010.

Delivering Phase[edit | edit source]

After solo-circumnavigating the globe unassisted and non-stop, Jessica Watson arrived in Sydney Harbour unharmed and well within the expected time-frame.

Evaluation of Project Outcomes