Jessica Watson makes waves in fight against stroke

Stroke Foundation

Jessica Watson has taken on many epic challenges in her life, but the iconic Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day will be one to remember.  

The 30-year-old will embark on the voyage alongside the crew of Azzurro who collectively share over 50,000 offshore miles.  

The former Young Australian of the Year and round the world yachtswoman is passionate about highlighting the link between high blood pressure and stroke which is why her crew will be taking to the seas in support of Stroke Foundation in the 2023 event.   

“I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing crew on this incredible little boat all while helping raise funds and awareness for this insidious disease,” Jessica said.  

“Stroke is a cause very close to my heart. Every donation will be the most fantastic motivation for us, as we’re on watch in the early hours of the morning, sleep-deprived, waves breaking over us, battling seasickness!” 

For the past two years, Jessica has embarked on a mission to encourage people of all ages to check their blood pressure and increase their awareness of stroke. 

More than 27,400 Australians have a stroke each year. That’s one stroke every 19 minutes. High blood pressure is the biggest modifiable risk factor of stroke and affects one in three Australian adults. 

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Lisa Murphy thanked Jessica for her ongoing support, and for shining light on one of Australia’s biggest killers.  

“Alarmingly, 4.7 million Australians are living with high blood pressure, and many of those people are unaware,” Dr Murphy said.  

“High blood pressure has no immediate symptoms, yet over time it puts extra stress on blood vessel walls. This can cause them to narrow or break down, eventually leading to a stroke. A quick and painless blood pressure check can be all it takes to potentially save a life.

“I urge all Australians, no matter how old you are, to make an appointment with your GP and get your blood pressure checked today.”

/Public Release. View in full here.