Jesse Martin

Youngest Ever World Sailor

Jesse Martin is an extraordinary adventurer, as well as a talented writer and filmmaker. In 1999 he became the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe without assistance and using no fossil fuels. He was aged 18.

Jesse Martin’s story of preparing and making this journey of a lifetime is inspirational for audiences of all ages and all walks of life. From heartbreaking rejections for sponsorship to the relentless knockdowns at sea, Jesse’s story is a tale of courage and determination, of loneliness, danger and joy. It is a remarkable journey of the human spirit and an extraordinary example of the power of living a dream.

About Jesse Martin:

Jesse Martin established himself as an adventurer well before he made his solo trip around the world.

At age fifteen, he had developed the necessary presentation and negotiation skills to enable him to present a business case and was successful in raising sponsorship for all his adventures.

Jesse pursued every avenue he could to become a sailor. He studied seamanship, meteorology, survival, navigation, maritime radio and attained first aid levels, even learning to apply stitches to himself. At age 16 he kayaked 300 kilometers through some of the wildest places in New Guinea and later sailed from the Caribbean to Tahiti as a crewmember.

People from all walks of life followed Jesse’s 328-day solo journey around the world. The fact that over 25,000 lined the shores at Sandringham to welcome him home is just one indication of the impact he has had on young and old alike.

Jesse filmed his entire journey, and the footage is the basis of a television documentary entitled Lionheart: The Jesse Martin Story. Jesse also wrote a captivating book Lionheart: A Journey of the Human Spirit which has subsequently sold over 110,000 copies worldwide.

In 2002 having been on land for two years, Jesse dreamed of heading out on the ocean again. In March 2002 he left on his second world attempt, with four friends aboard the 54-foot timber ketch Kijana, the Swahili word for ‘young people’. The trip turned out to be a true adventure in every sense. From crew problems to an emergency when Kijana hit a reef, these events ultimately brought the journey to an end, 10 months into the proposed three-year voyage. In 2008 finance was raised to complete a 1-hour documentary of the Kijana journey telling the story of how it fell apart. The film entitled ‘5 Lost at Sea’ has since won Best Documentary at the West Hollywood International Film Festival and will screen on the ABC in early 2010.

These days Jesse spends his time writing and traveling and producing small film projects. He still dreams about setting sail into the sunset and probably will until the day he dies.

Jesse Martin talks about:

In an inspirational and engaging keynote presentation, Jesse Martin demonstrates the undeniable power of the human spirit. Jesse talks about his extraordinary adventures and his journey to become the youngest person to navigate the world solo and without using fossil fuels. In his presentation he talks about his preparations, knock backs and what it takes to fight on in the face of adversity.

Client testimonials

It still amazes me the positive impact he has on young people, yet he carries himself with humility, honesty and integrity.

Reach Youth

Jesse Martin is a fantastic role model who presents articulately, humorously and compassionately.

SIDS Victoria

You are an impressive young man and your courage and determination are an inspirational example.

US President Bill Clinton

Fantastic. Jesse spoke to the level of the students and entertained the Audience. A lot of parent and Student feedback to say they enjoyed his presentation and were left wanting more!

Blackwater State High School