13-year-old Laura Dekker around the world - Page 17 - SailNet Community
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post #161 of 231 Old 11-01-2009
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I have yet to hear anything about Zac's younger sisters plans to circumnavigate eclipsing big brothers record.
Somewhere along the way, I mentioned to my 5 year old Daughter that she had but 4 or 5 years at the most to learn to singlehand and navigate solo around the world. She scowled at me in ponderance and replied with first a question and then a statement, she said ; "is Mommy going ?" which is her first concern no-matter what I suggest. to which I responded- No , solo means going alone.
To which she replied- "Daddy, YOU don't get to decide what I want to be when I grow up, I get to decide that."
So, I told her maybe we'll just all have to go together. She said that might be OK as long as Mommy goes too.
Darn, I was ready to start looking for corporate sponsors and everything ! I thought maybe the makers of Barby and toys r us would jump aboard. Oh well !
I guess I'm sentenced to singlehanding with a (sometimes reluctant)family/galley cook and occasional helmsman assistent.
Apparently not everyone has the drive/interest and unrelenting curiosity to see the world from the deck of a small sailing craft.
But speaking for those of us who do (if I may be so bold) Please, don't put any more obsticles in our way than what already exist.
It's bad enough that I was born 2-300 years after my time !
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post #162 of 231 Old 11-01-2009
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I hate half measures. The solution is to genetically engineer a sailor corp. What we need is a few hundred young women physically fit with an athletic background, sailors get a bonus payment, willing to become impregnated by known circumnavigators. The resulting children will be born aboard special birth ships I will have arranged for the purpose.
These babies will never leave the boat but from birth they will learn the ropes. If we genetically engineer about 200 children in this way I expect that in 10 years we should have about 3 percent or 6 children that will be specially adapted to this contest. Of these 6 we will probably lose about 4 due to accident etc but we will have two that should be able to circumnavigate at 8 years old.

We are looking for sponsors, and birth mothers.
We have 9 months to prepare the birthing yachts.

If you are going to do something, please put in the effort to do it right.

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post #163 of 231 Old 12-10-2009
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Lots of interesting tidbits in this London Times story from October...

She was born on a boat, the child of sailors, but a teenager’s hopes of becoming the youngest person to sail around the world solo capsized yesterday.

A Dutch judge told Laura Dekker, 14, that she must put her ambitions on hold until July next year after a two-month investigation cast doubt on her ability to safely cope with the rigours of a journey that could last two years.

The young sailor, who said she was disappointed at the ruling, faces a race against time to train herself before another court hearing in July, but is determined to push ahead.

“Initially, her reaction was disappointment,” Mariska Woertman, a family spokesman, said. “But after I explained, she agreed these eight months would be enough for her to fully prepare and convince the court that she is ready.”

Judge Mirjam Oostendorp said the investigation by a psychologist and the Dutch Child Protection Agency showed that Laura, who turned 14 only last month, appeared emotionally, intellectually and physically fit for such a venture.

But there were concerns about her knowledge of first aid, sleep management and overall safety plan — and arrangements for distance schooling.

“There are insufficient guarantees for safety, and the arrangements for Laura’s continued education are too vague. These factors constitute a threat to Laura’s safety and to her development, which are sufficient grounds not to let her begin her trip,” Judge Oostendorp ruled in the Utrecht district court.

Dekker’s parents, both round-the-world sailors, are divorced. In August the same court had placed her under care for a two-month period, which in effect stripped her parents of the right to make decisions about the venture. Her father supports the attempt, but his former wife remains doubtful.

A growing number of teenagers are seeking to sail around the world on solo voyages, with or without parental backing. Mike Perham beat the record achieved only a month earlier by Zac Sunderland, a 17-year-old American.

Only 12 days ago, Jessica Watson, an Australian schoolgirl, 16, set off on her own bid to become the youngest solo round-the-world sailor.

Laura’s ambitions have already brought her into contact with the British authorities. She has sailed solo from the Netherlands to Lowestoft — a test her father, Dick Dekker, set her after she divulged her global dream.

At the time, he said he thought the open sea, wind and rain would change his daughter’s mind. It didn’t, but it brought her plans to the attention of a wider audience. After she landed in the East of England port, the authorities decided it was too dangerous for the teenager to sail home and contacted her father to accompany her.

When he initially refused, Laura was placed briefly in a children’s home. Mr Dekker travelled to England eventually, but let her complete the return trip solo.

At this point, the British authorities contacted their colleagues in the Netherlands and the Child Protection Agency became involved.

Mr Dekker himself was just 12 when he first sailed solo from Ijmuiden harbour into the North Sea. If his daughter does set out on her adventure, she is certain to gain an even higher profile. Already her team of supporters are in preliminary discussions with a television production company.

Laura’s lawyer, Peter de Lange, was highly critical of the CPA, which he claimed had failed to properly examine the case. But he also saw a positive element in the ruling. “There is now no discussion on her ability to manage herself. The psychologist says she can cope. It is very interesting what a child at that age can do. Now, what remains are only practical aspects, not personal,” he said.

He suggested that in the coming months, Laura would continue to gain solo sailing experience in the North Sea and the Atlantic in her 8.3 metre-long Hurley 800 named Guppy.

Laura plans to be shadowed on her round-the-world trip by another, faster yacht. This would leave harbours after her departure, overtake her and meet her at her next port.
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post #164 of 231 Old 12-10-2009
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Let her go for it.

Peter Powers
1979 TR/FK #1390
Bayview Marina,
Lake Ray Hubbard
Dallas, TX

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post #165 of 231 Old 12-10-2009
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This is as stupid now as it was when Robin Graham [ I think that is his name ]
did this back in the 1960's. A 13 year old girl? Alone? And what happens when she is captured and raped? What will the parents say when their little girl is doing tricks to stay alive? Will someone please go over and beat the living xxxx out of the parents for me..
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post #166 of 231 Old 12-10-2009
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Youngest Person to Top Mount Everest is a Girl

Youngest Person to Top Mount Everest is a Girl
Posted by: gretchen on May 21, 2007 in Yes She Can! Last week, Samantha Larson became the youngest person on record to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Samantha, who climbed the peak with her father as part of the “Seven summits challenge” has now officially beat the challenge record set last year by 20 year old Rhys Miles Jones. Samantha has been climbing since she was a kid and has reached the peaks of mountains such Aconcagua in South America at the age of 13 and Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa at the age of 14.
After having spent a good deal of time on rivers and creeks all over the south east and having been involved with teaching a few people how to kayak/creeking. I have noticed that the younger the person the easiser it is for them to pick it up and to go with the flow so to speak. I think she will be able to do it if she has the money to back it up with. I am glad for her and hope the best for her. Go for it girl. Dan
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post #167 of 231 Old 12-11-2009
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I was thinking about this nonsense last night.. Sailing around the world.
First off, why go off sailing around the world and never stopping? The idea is to enjoy the journey, isn't it? The reward for going out on the water, to cruise, is to arrive at a safe port, to meet new friends, to learn about different cultures, to understand the human experience. Even a summer cruise is like this. When you are telling your friends about your cruise, you don't go on and on about the water, the waves, you speak about the beautiful harbors, the interesting folks you met. Stepping on a boat, and then 27,000 miles later, stepping off. So What ? Who cares.
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post #168 of 231 Old 12-11-2009
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Originally Posted by lporcano View Post
As far as the danger of getting raped, the danger of that is far greater in the average American HS than it is on the open ocean.

I think that a good deal of the public criticism of this, is no different than the kid who doesn't want to see his parents open the closet door because of the monster inside. People are taking all their own insecurities and fears, both for themselves and their children, and projecting them onto a girl, family, and voyage, that they no very little about.
Len, I think Jasper was talking about some of the ports she'd be visiting. Some ports definitely are more dangerous than any HS in the U.S., no doubt about it. That said, if her parents are there then that part isn't quite as much of a concern. I still think she's too young though.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #169 of 231 Old 12-11-2009
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Iporcano . . do you remember the young girl who was flying across the USA, she was supposed to set some sort of record because of her age and all? What happened? The plane crashed, she died. Her parents didn't feel too good after that, did they? Or, the nut in Colorado with the balloon? The kid is 13 years old. She isn't even old enough to be in high school ! 13 .. hello? This has nothing to do with the girl, this is all about M O N E Y. Money, and I book deal, and tv, and reality tv, and on and on. And where on earth are you coming up with the rape/high school danger comment. I am in and out of high schools, have been for the last few years. You do not know what the heck you are talking about.. This kind of stuff drives me crazy. And what is worse? Adults who think it is ok, until the kid is dead.. then it is someone elses fault.
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post #170 of 231 Old 12-20-2009
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I note news reports that Laura is missing, though her boat is still in it's slip. Anyone know any further information?
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