Evans Head was buzzing this morning with a visit from young sailor Jessica Watson.
The 17-year-old, accompanied by her mother Julie, arrived in Evans Head by car from Brisbane last night after hearing the news that her sailing boat, Ella's Pink Lady, was berthed there with electrical difficulties.
Jessica said Evans was a 'lovely town' and she signed the board at the local fruit and veg shop as well as visiting the bakery this morning.
The bright pink yacht helped make the youngest long-distance sailor world famous.
Although the boat only needed a fuse replaced, Jessica was needed to help with the repairs as she was the only one who knew where a spare fuse was stored on the boat.
The yacht broke down five nautical miles off the east coast, halfway between Evans Head and Yamba.
Evans Head Coast Guard member Tony McNally said the yacht had lost all its electricals and the motor wasn’t working.
“The stern gland was leaking,” he said. “It looks like she’ll need to go on the slips.
“The boat was supposed to go to Yamba, but it wasn’t big enough to steer against the 30-knot southerly.
“I asked them where they’d like to get towed, and they left it up to me, so I brought them back to Evans Head.”
Jessica wasn’t on board Ella’s Pink Lady, which became world famous when the teenage sailor completed her epic circumnavigation of the globe in 210 days.
She arrived in Sydney in May this year to packed foreshores and wide media coverage.
This was only days before her 17th birthday, which made her the youngest sailor to take on such a dangerous adventure.
This isn’t the first time the ‘pink lady’ has been in this neck of the woods. The yacht made a surprise pit stop to re-fuel at Yamba back in early June, with Ms Watson at the helm.
Ella’s Pink Lady is an Sparkman and Stevens (S&S) 34 with an overall length of 10.23 metres and a waterline length of 7.37 metres. The S&S 34 became famous after Jon Sanders, David Dicks and Jesse Martin used them for their history-making solo circumnavigations.