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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > 14-year-old Laura Dekker free to leave
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Thread: 14-year-old Laura Dekker free to leave Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-13-2010 05:41 AM
Minnewaska I don't think it should be forbidden to set sail around the world at age 14, that's the kid and parent's choice. It should be forbidden to talk about it, publish it, write about it, or post about it, by anyone.

The attempts would promptly stop happening.
08-12-2010 10:33 PM
Daveinet I went and read the blogs about what each girl says about the other. Both Jessica and Abby have nothing negative to say about the other. I think these girls have pretty good qualifications to understand the capability and judgment of each other. They are close enough in age to compare themselves and what they are capable of. They know better than any of us what the requirements are both emotionally and technically. yet they speak very positively about the prospect of Laura.
08-12-2010 05:44 AM
sailingdog While I'm not a big fan of the race for the youngest... I do wish Laura a safe voyage and hope that she finishes without incident. Her voyage, unlike Abby's original intended voyage and Jessica's successful voyage is not a non-stop ordeal through the Southern Ocean, but a more moderately paced trip with planned stops and a less severe route.

Her choice of boat seems to be, at first glance, a bit better than Abby's but not as good as Jessica's IMHO. She appears to have a bit more familiarity with the boat and its systems than Abby did with Wild Eyes. It sounds like she may actually have more experience than Abby, which would be a good thing.
08-12-2010 04:51 AM
surelyujest71 Good luck, Laura!

I don't know too much about the various sailboats out there (yet), but I do think that choosing a cruiser over a racer was a good idea... and also shows a nice degree of maturity in the choice. After all, it's not about how fast she gets around the world - it's about the successful conclusion of the trip. I cheered Abby on, as she attempted her trip; I only wondered at why it had to be a racing vessel... and why one so expensive! Plenty of nice boats available, out there, for a lot less money, that are already well equipped for such long trips. I hope the poor ending to her trip didn't sour Abby on sailing... I think it's amazing for someone to go out there, and try to live their dreams. I wish more of us had families that encouraged us to live our dreams.

I've known some 14 year olds who were very mature adults. At least, so you'd think, if you'd met them. I've also known plenty of people 30 years or older who should be sent back to kindergarten just to see how much more mature small children are than them.

Oh, yes: That "youngest to climb Everest" was a 13 year old boy, from California, just this past May. He has a goal of climbing the highest peak on all seven continents... and Everest was number 6. All that's left, is Antarctica. He must have started his climbing career some time ago.

Good luck, Laura! Keep safe.
08-05-2010 12:00 AM
PierreMundo
On her way!

Wednesday August 4, 2010 Laura started her global voyage and is on her way to Portugal!

Dutch teen Laura Dekker begins global solo voyage quest - ESPN
07-31-2010 10:12 AM
lydanynom
Quote:
Originally Posted by PierreMundo View Post
.nl
Wait... She's Dutch?

Well, cripes, I didn't know that. Kind of kills a lot of the "kids that age aren't mature enough" arguments we've seen here. Like I said in my post above, too much looking at the whole world through your own cultural biases in these discussions.
07-31-2010 09:59 AM
PierreMundo
Date is set!

Laura will set sail at wednesday. Her first leg will be to Portugal. Her father will accompany her on this leg to test the boat and make improvements. From Portugal she will set sail alone. Fair winds to Laura. www.lauradekker.nl
07-31-2010 07:01 AM
bjung
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post

If a kid is not a legal adult, they are the responsibility of the parent (in most societies). And if the kid is solo in a boat at sea for a year facing undeniably substantial risks - alone - without parental supervision - then the parent is an open target for neglect and endangerment charges.

When one of these punks buys it at sea or at the hands of not-nice people, things will go nuclear pretty quickly from a legal and political perspective.
Oh, please, keep the legal talk out of it! In most european countries the legal age of consent is between 14 and 16. Obviously they grant their children a little more maturity and ability to make decisions that affect the rest of their lives...
Punks?? That kind of classification should be left for kids hanging on a street corner with no direction, obviously not the case here.
Think of the life lessons that Abby has made on her trip, I would think there isn't going to be much to shake her up on the hard...
I would also be more comfortable for my child to circumnavigate(with proper training) than to face NYC rush hour at 16.
Quote:
Long and short of it is this: she's going, regardless of what anyone else thinks. The decent thing to do is to at least wish her good luck.
That's about the bottom line...
07-30-2010 02:44 PM
jcalvinmarks
Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
At the end of the day - I agree with you that it comes down to the legal question more than anything else. But even this is obviously getting pushed into grayer and grayer areas with the "youngest" craze.

If a kid is not a legal adult, they are the responsibility of the parent (in most societies). And if the kid is solo in a boat at sea for a year facing undeniably substantial risks - alone - without parental supervision - then the parent is an open target for neglect and endangerment charges.

When one of these punks buys it at sea or at the hands of not-nice people, things will go nuclear pretty quickly from a legal and political perspective.

It's all fun and games until...

I do see your point. Solo circcumnavigation, even with stops and assistance, is serious business. I don't buy for a second that allowing a 14-year-old to do it amounts to endangerment prima facie. But in a world where a burglar can sue a homeowner when he cuts his hand breaking the window so he can steal a TV, I guess anything's possible.

And as I said, I've never suggested that this is a good idea. I've only ever said that she has the right to do it. If someone doesn't like it, then don't let your own 14-year-old do it.

But there are a lot worse things that a teenager can be doing with their time than sailing around the world. Like driving a car in traffic. Or joining street gangs. Or doing drugs. Or getting pregnant. So it's hard for me to get really worked up and animated about how "idiotic" a 'round the world sailing journey is.

Long and short of it is this: she's going, regardless of what anyone else thinks. The decent thing to do is to at least wish her good luck.
07-30-2010 02:22 PM
smackdaddy
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalvinmarks View Post
smacky: I think we're talking past each other. You're coming from a philosophical "is it right" or "should she go" perspective. I'm coming from a rule-of-law "does she have the right to do it" perspective. Incidentally, I think we're both right.
At the end of the day - I agree with you that it comes down to the legal question more than anything else. But even this is obviously getting pushed into grayer and grayer areas with the "youngest" craze.

If a kid is not a legal adult, they are the responsibility of the parent (in most societies). And if the kid is solo in a boat at sea for a year facing undeniably substantial risks - alone - without parental supervision - then the parent is an open target for neglect and endangerment charges.

When one of these punks buys it at sea or at the hands of not-nice people, things will go nuclear pretty quickly from a legal and political perspective.

It's all fun and games until...
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