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. Orangemaster says:

    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!

  2. BA says:

    What UK teen?

  3. Neil says:

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

  4. Chris Hallam says:

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

  5. Orangemaster says:

    @BA I meant US, sorry.

  6. Orangemaster says:

    I did mean UK MIke Perham!

  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. […]

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

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