Jesse Martin

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Jesse Martin
Born (1981-08-26) 26 August 1981 (age 39)
Known forHeld the record as the youngest person to sail solo around the world (unassisted)

Jesse Martin, OAM (born 26 August 1981) is a German-Australian sailor who in 1999 became the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo, non-stop, and unassisted,[3] taking the record from David Dicks, who was 24 days younger when he completed his circumnavigation, but had obtained assistance. Martin's journey in the 34-foot (10 m) S&S 34 sloop Lionheart-Mistral took approximately 11 months. He chronicled his adventures in the book Lionheart: A Journey of the Human Spirit, and his story was made into a documentary, Lionheart: The Jesse Martin Story.

"Lionheart" voyage[edit]

At 16, Martin departed Melbourne for a world voyage on his yacht, Lionheart. He arrived back in Melbourne on 31 October 1999 and sailed into the record books at age 18. The entire journey covered 328 days and 27,000 nautical miles (50,000 km) in all. Since Martin's voyage, the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) have discontinued the "youngest" category[4] and no longer recognise "human condition" records.[5] Martin remains the youngest solo non-stop unassisted sailor to cross opposite points of the globe in a single round the world voyage. His voyage inspired other young sailors, including Jessica Watson, to attempt similar circumnavigations.[6]

The voyage was sponsored by Mistral, the Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun, the Sandringham Yacht Club, Kodak, REV milk and Autohelm. Mistral was the major sponsor, donating over A$300,000 on the conditions that the name was placed on the sail, prominently and repeatedly on the boat, on the bottom of Martin's weekly newspaper column, and on Martin's clothing.[7]

Prior to the Lionheart voyage Jesse, along with his father and brother, completed a 1,000 km journey[8] along the North Queensland coast in a 14-foot Caper Cat, one of the longest attempted in a catamaran of its size.[9] In an interview following the trip, Jesse stated that the journey made the idea of sailing around the world seem possible.[10]

Post "Lionheart" activities[edit]

Martin lives in Melbourne, Australia and has started a media production company,[11] as well as a Papua New Guinea sailing adventure charter business.[12] In 2005, he released a follow-up book entitled Kijana: The Real Story. In January 2009 Martin walked away uninjured after crashing his car into a train at a railway level crossing at McKinnon railway station in Melbourne.[13] In 2010 Martin shared producing and directing credits for 5 Lost at Sea,[14] a film documenting his attempted inspirational voyage with several friends.[15]


Martin was the Australian Yachting Federation's Youth Sailor of the Year for the year 1999-2000[16] and the Young Victorian of the Year in 2000.[17] He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001[18] and the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2002.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Talking Heads: Jesse Martin transcript". Talking Heads (Australian TV series). 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2016. I was born in Dachau, which is near Munich in Germany. That was in 1981.
  2. ^ Martin, Jesse (2000). Lionheart: A Journey of the Human Spirit. Sydney: Allen & Unwin (Martin was born in Germany while his parents were travelling in Europe). See the overview of this book at Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  3. ^ Defalco, Beth (8 February 2007). "Jesse Martin: A dream in his sails. ''The Herald Sun''". Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  4. ^ " Other Kinds of Sailing Records", World Sailing Speed Record Council. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  5. ^ Townsend, Allie (21 June 2010). "Should There Be Age Limits on Thrill Seeking", Time. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  6. ^ La Rocca, Aimee (27 May 2010). "'Anyone can do anything': teen sailor charms fans". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  7. ^ Martin, Jesse (2000). Lionheart: A Journey of the Human Spirit. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. Chapter 3.
  8. ^ "Talking Heads - Jesse Martin". Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  9. ^ Miller, Kim. "Kim Miller's Hobie Cat Sailing Pages. Jesse Martin Story. Pt.1". Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  10. ^ Miller, Kim. "Kim Miller's Hobie Sailing Pages, Jesse Martin story". Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  11. ^ "10 years since Jesse's Lionheart performance". WAtoday. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  12. ^ "The young man and the sea". Melbourne: The Age. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Jesse Martin in train crash". Yachting Monthly. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  14. ^ "Watson's challenges far from over, says another young salt". Brisbane Times. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  15. ^ "5 Lost at Sea". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Youth Sailor of the Year". Yachting Australia. 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Victoria Day Awards". Victoria Day Council. 2011. Archived from the original on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  18. ^ "It's an Honour entry – Centenary Medal". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2012. Citation: For service as the youngest person to sail solo around the world, an inspiration to youth.
  19. ^ "It's an Honour entry – Medal of the Order of Australia". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 January 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2012. Citation: For achievement in completing a solo, unassisted and non-stop circumnavigation of the globe without the use of fossil fuels, and for service to the community, particularly youth.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
George Dukas
Young Victorian of the Year
Succeeded by
Daniela Di Toro