‘All the publicity from the recent spate of record attempts has spawned so much ambition that the ‘youngest record has actually become the most contested of all sailing feats, bar perhaps the outright speed record.’
– Yachting World – Nov, ’09
14-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekkar has been apprehended again, this time in the Carribean after she ran away from the courts stopping her youngest solo circumnavigation record attempt. Born on a boat in New Zealand during an around the world sail, it seems government just doesn’t learn the future lies with the young! Who’s business is it for government to be involved anyway!? It’s her parents’ and hers…period. Here’s to chasing Jessica Watson soon, by the way – a 16-year-old who’s by far more experienced at sea and mature than most sailors in their middle age you’ll ever meet!
Court Says Dutch 14-Year-Old May Get to Sail Around World
Thursday, January 07, 2010 3:33:00 PM
Last updated: Thursday, January 07, 2010 3:33:00 PM
LOG NEWS SERVICE — A Dutch court has said it may allow 14-year-old Laura Dekker to eventually set sail on a solo circumnavigation around the world.
The judges have laid out conditions, which would allow the teenager to begin her around-the-world trip, including completing a first aid course and making several sailing trips abroad to prepare for her circumnavigation.
If she meets the terms set by the court, Dekker could set off before she turns 15 in September — in Guppy, her 27-foot Hurley 800 sailboat — on her attempt to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world.
Dekker made headlines earlier in October when another Dutch court banned her from attempting to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world — and again in December, when she ran away to St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean. The court in October had ordered a temporary guardian appointed to look after Dekker, though it allowed her to keep living with her father, an ardent sailor who is seen as a driving force behind her circumnavigation plan.
After her disappearance in late December, welfare authorities had sought unsuccessfully to have her removed from her father’s home and placed in a crisis shelter. Dekker’s grandparents on her father’s side criticized welfare workers for their treatment of Dekker.
“Since the Bureau of Youth Care got involved, we have seen Laura change from a positive teenager into a child who has built a shield around herself and lost all trust in adults,” Dick and Riek Dekker wrote in a letter published Dec. 22 in De Volkskrant newspaper.
— A report from the Associated Press was used in this story