Sunday, February 27, 2011
Laura Dekker again
My first article about Laura Dekker was in September, 2009. At the age of 13, she had aspirations to become the youngest person to sail alone around the world. She met opposition from the authorities on account of her age, but she was a very determined youngster who was sure that she could accomplish her dream. Many people, including me, likened her to Abby Sunderland, Zac Sunderland and Jessica Watson, all of whom wanted to become the youngest solo non-stop circumnavigator of the globe, i.e, doing it without putting into port or setting foot on dry land. This was a misunderstanding brought about by the media. In fact Laura’s aspiration was never to sail around the world non-stop; indeed it was exactly the opposite. She wanted to visit interesting places, explore them and learn about people she would meet.
In her recent update to the News section of her website she makes it clear that she never intended to sail non-stop, and she also points out that if she is successful in completing a circumnavigation and becomes the youngest to do so, the Guinness Book of Records no longer includes a section on the ‘youngest’ to achieve anything. As far as she is concerned her record would stand in its own right, and I feel sure the majority of us would go along with that. The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) responsible for monitoring and ratifying ocean sailing records would not approve and uphold her record because it is not their policy to encourage either the very young or the very old to embark on such voyages.
Laura was inspired by Tania Aebi and Robin Lee Graham by their around the world adventures. Tania was a novice sailor who set out from New York in 1985 and returned there in 1987. The following year she wrote ‘Maiden Voyage’, a book relating her experiences, which can be obtained from Amazon.com. (See link below) Robin Lee Graham took just under five years to complete his circumnavigation between 27th July, 1965, and 30th April, 1960. He also wrote a book detailing his voyages, which was the basis of the film ‘Dove’ with the same name; this was also the name of the boat he used for the greater part of his around the world adventures. On reaching St Thomas he sold ‘Dove’ and replaced her with a bigger yacht which he named ‘Return of Dove’.
Laura is not in a hurry, but she hopes to complete her adventure within two years, so as to sail at times when she will avoid hurricanes and make the best use of seasonal winds. She is content to briefly return home now and again and to have family visit her. She is booked to be a guest attraction at HISWA - the Amsterdam Boat Show which takes place 1st - 6th March, 2011.
Laura Dekker in the Canaries
Laura Dekker: the youngest person to sail the world solo
Mike Perham, Jessica Watson, Abby Sunderland and Laura Dekker
‘Maiden Voyage’ by Tania Aebi
Robin Lee Graham
‘The Dove’ – a film about Robin Lee Graham’s Circunavigation
‘Dove’ by Robin Lee Graham
HISWA – Amsterdam Boat Show
ZEILMEISJE LAURA DEKKER ON FACEBOOK