Despite the set-back of her collision with a freighter while en route to Sydney, 17-year-old Jessica Watson is in great spirits and is expecting to be back on the water next week. According to her official website:
Repairs to Ella's Pink Lady are progressing better than expected largely to the support of all the team at Gold Coast City Marina (GCCM) and Australian Marine Enterprises (AME).
The team have repaired the damage to the hull, deck and chain plate and have just completed re-painting of the damaged areas. They have also replaced and repaired the damaged stanchions, lifelines, bow roller and replaced damaged navigation lights.
Whilst repairs to the vessel are on track, the re-building of a new mast and damaged rigging, courtesy of David Lambourne, has commenced and is on track for delivery possibly as early as next week. David and his team have rearranged their schedule and several other rig builds specifically to assist Jessica and get the rig back in the boat as fast as possible.
The team estimate works to the vessel could be finished in another week. Jessica will then be performing a series of “sea trials” off the Gold Coast to ensure all of Ella's Pink Lady's systems and equipment are in perfect working order prior to her trek down the coast to Sydney.
“I am so grateful for the support of everyone here at Gold Coast City Marina. We have a wonderful team working around the clock to ensure Ella's Pink Lady is in perfect condition when she hits the water again. Hopefully in a week or so we can do some final test sails, before heading down to Sydney”, said Jessica.
Despite the slight setback, Jessica remains buoyant and focused on her upcoming around the world voyage.