Teenager attempts sailing solo around the world record


Laura Dekker, 13 years old, is planning to attempt to sail around the world solo between 2009 and 2011, Algemeen Dagblad reports (Dutch). The current record is held by Zac Sunderland of the USA who finished his journey at age 17.

Dekker’s plan has drawn comments from naysayers who feel she is too young, should be in school, and who think her parents are irresponsible. Her response to these comments is one of indifference: “To be honest, I had expected the comments to be even worse. People do not know what they are talking about, so I won’t let it get to me.”

Preparations are going well, according to Dekker’s website. She will be sailing a Hurley 800, a boat made in Twente, and she will send and receive her high school homework using e-mail (she is still looking for a satellite phone, though). Dekker hopes to set sail this September.

(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy.)


  1. I bet you the UK teen got pats on the back from everyone.

    A girl, a Dutch girl with ambition, we can’t have that here, now can we! Pffff. You go girl!

    Comment by Orangemaster — August 12, 2009 @ 8:56 am

  2. What UK teen?

    Comment by BA — August 12, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  3. Ambition is good. I hope she has experience sailing in heavy seas, excellent navigation equipment, weather radar and knowledge of how to repair it.

    Comment by Neil — August 12, 2009 @ 9:55 am

  4. I agree with Neil. This seems like a huge undertaking for someone so young.

    Comment by Chris Hallam — August 13, 2009 @ 10:42 pm

  5. @BA I meant US, sorry.

    Comment by Orangemaster — August 13, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

  6. I did mean UK MIke Perham!

    Comment by Orangemaster — August 25, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  7. […] While Britain is anxiously waiting for 17-year-old Mike Perham to sail into Portmouth on 29 August after having sailed around the world, 13-year-old Laura Dekker has had to lawyer up in order to fight for the opportunity to attempt the same feat for the Netherlands. […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Laura Dekker ready to emigrate if she can’t sail — December 6, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  8. […] See also: Teenager attempts sailing solo around the world record. […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Sailor boycotts prize because teenage girl Laura Dekker is also in the running — November 13, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

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