A 13-year-old Dutch girl’s bid to sail solo around the world has hit the rocks after three judges put her under state supervision for two months.
Laura Dekker wants to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handed. Child protection authorities argued it would be irresponsible to allow her to set sail. The ruling was upheld by a court in Utrecht because of “serious concerns” about Dekker’s physical and psychological development. Dekker’s lawyer insisted though that the record-breaking voyage could still go ahead. Peter de Lange said: “There will be a renewed examination and another court session in October, and in that case, when the outcome is positive and good, she can put her boat on a trailer to Lisbon in Portugal and then she can start with the race for the Guinness Book of Records and that’s in time, no problem.” Laura Dekker, an experienced sailor despite her age, was born at sea on her parents’ boat in New Zealand. She had planned to embark on a two-year voyage on September 1 on her 27-foot yacht, Guppy. Laura’s said to be confident the issue will be resolved and she will be allowed, eventually, to weigh anchor.