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Dutch teen sailor nears end of round-the-world voyage

Wednesday 04 January 2012

Laura Dekker, the 16-year-old girl who hopes to become the youngest person to sail solo round the world, is nearing the end of her voyage, according to media reports.

Dekker started the trip from Gibraltar in August 2010 and crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean, reaching Sint Maarten in December that year. She is now set to be back at Sint Maarten in her boat Guppy at the end of this month. The trip has not been non-stop.

Dekker first announced her plans to attempt to break the record when she was 13 but was made a ward of court when judges said the trip would be too dangerous and a risk to her emotional and social development. The order was lifted in summer 2010, clearing the way for the trip to begin.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Excuse me, but where are the parents here? What parent in their right mind would allow their sixteen year old (daughter, no less) sail solo around the world. I call this "child neglect" and they should be put in jail.

By Pam | 5 January 2012 4:19 PM

Her parents are there supporting her. You call it "child neglect" because you don't know anything about her situation. Laura has spent almost as much time on water as she has on land. She was born on a boat during her parents' own circumnavigation of the world. She spent the first 4 years of her life on a boat. She received her first boat when she was 6 and learn to sail it herself. When she was 13 she sailed from the Netherlands to England by herself. When the authorities picked her up and asked her father to come and get her, he told them that she was fully capable of returning on her own.

By For An Angel | 6 January 2012 2:29 PM

Also, your comment that her parents must be crazy to allow their 16 year old "(daughter, no less)" comes across as very sexist. Would it be more acceptable to you if she was a boy? Her parents are not crazy or neglectful. They are encouraging. And Laura herself is amazing. You could only wish you had a daughter as brave, talented or ambitious as her.

And she may be 16 now but she was only 14 when she started her journey.

By For An Angel | 6 January 2012 2:29 PM

Speaking as another kid who sailed around the world back in the day (though not solo!) I've been reading her blog regularly and it is quite inspiring. Laura is one of the most amazing athletes in history and a true hero.

It's a shame about the reaction in some quarters. People who lead boring lives are just jealous.

By Scott | 16 January 2012 7:40 AM

Her parents supported her dream and had faith in their daughter. It is not neglect, but a loving, caring, supportive family and we should all be so lucky to have parents that allow us to pursue our dreams!

By Christina | 20 January 2012 11:32 PM

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