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Laura Dekker becomes youngest round-the-world solo sailor

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Laura Dekker becomes youngest round-the-world solo sailor


The Dutch teenager Laura Dekker has become the youngest person to sail around the world alone – but it is not enough to get her name in the record books.

The 16-year-old arrived on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin in her boat “Guppy” almost a year to the day since she set sail.

The final leg from South Africa had been a struggle against heavy winds and high seas.

Her family were among the wellwishers in the crowd at the end of a 50,000-kilometre journey that was interrupted several times.

“Of course there were moments where I was like, ‘what the hell am I doing out here?’ but I never wanted to stop. It’s a dream, and I wanted to do it,” said Laura Dekker at the end.

Dutch authorities had tried to block the trip, arguing Dekker was too young to risk her life and should have been at school.

Her claim for a world record has not been recognised either by Guinness World Records or world sailing authorities, who want to discourage dangerous attempts by young sailors.

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