News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int

 

Sail-World.com : Solo sailing teen Laura Dekker did not 'tear down' her Dutch flag

Solo sailing teen Laura Dekker did not 'tear down' her Dutch flag

'Laura waving goodbye at the start of her journey showing Dutch flag'    .

When 16-year-old Laura Dekker sails Guppy into the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Maarten in about eight days to become the youngest ever circumnavigating sailor, she will be flying, not a Dutch flag, but the flag of New Zealand. However mainstream media reports that she had recently 'torn down' the Dutch flag are not true.

Composite photos of Laura arriving Capetown - New Zealand flag is clearly visible  .. .  
Laura, who has dual Dutch and New Zealand citizenship, has been flying the New Zealand flag since she departed Darwin Australia. Her reasons are, however, certainly steeped with the hurt she has experienced from Dutch child authorities who have constantly tried to impede her progress. Even after she had made many concessions and her journey was well advanced they have not relented their attempts to prevent her voyage continuing.

Her lawyer Peter De Lange told Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant that truancy officers issued her father a summons to appear late last year after a newspaper quoted her as saying in her blog she had not been giving her studies full attention.

Mr De Lange said the report was a misunderstanding, based on her saying she needed to concentrate on sailing while weather in the Atlantic was poor.

When her father refused to turn up, the truancy agency notified child protective services, infuriating the family.

'Who knows, maybe they'll be waiting for her with handcuffs at the finish line,' Mr De Lange said.

If Laura checks in as a New Zealand citizen, they will have a hard time fastening those handcuffs.

The story behind the acquisition of a New Zealand flag is a simple one. On arrival into Darwin, Laura's Dutch flag was looking a little ragged. Knowing that she wanted a New Zealand flag, her agent and friend Lyall Mercer bought the flag and presented it to her as a present. Laura's voyage route did not include New Zealand, but she has said she hopes to sail there after reaching Sint Maarten.


Laura is currently sailing her 38ft Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch Guppy across the Atlantic from Cape Town, following the trade winds to the Caribbean and the completion of her around-the-world sail. She is expected to arrive the island around 24th January, having departed there in August last year. If she arrives on that day, she will be 16 years, four months and 15 days old, more than seven months younger than Australian Jessica Watson, who completed a non-stop journey, staying mostly in the southern hemisphere, just before her 17th birthday.

Some like to count these things, but the fact is that neither the Guinness Book of Records nor the World Speed Sailing Record Council accept 'youngest' records these days, so as not to encourage parents pushing their children into foolish exploits.


Laura's difficulties with the authorities:
The Dutch court originally blocked Laura's voyage and only permitted her to set off after she finished her school year.
While it could be said that Laura already had learned the skills that she needed, the authorities put their reluctant stamp of approval on her journey only after she had passed certain courses to their satisfaction, bought a bigger boat than the one she originally planned to use; enrolled in a special correspondence school and shown that her navigation equipment was adequate. Did she need these extra checks? Her father is vehement that she did not, that they added nothing to her skills, nor to the safety of her boat. Would she have coped just as well as she has without them? We shall never know...

Many civil libertarians in the Netherlands are angry about the treatment of Laura and her family, accusing the government of 'nanny state' control - 'parochialism versus global perspective, fear versus adventure, paternalism versus empowerment' as one Dutch journalist?nid=92933 put it.

Laura was born on her parents' yacht when it was docked in Whangarei, making her a New Zealand citizen. She spent the first few years of her young life completing a circumnavigation with her parents, who are now divorced. Passionately in love with sailing, the tearaway teen then completed her first crossing of the English Channel solo at the age of thirteen, ending up in a Children's Home after the British authorities saw the age on her passport.

Mr De Lange said Laura plans to return to school after her voyage, perhaps in New Zealand.
.......................
Did you like this article? If you are not a Sail-World subscriber already, did you know that you can keep up with all the news from the world of the cruising sailor with a weekly news hit? It's totally free, as all our income is from the advertisers.

Once you subscribe, all the non-racing news comes to you in one easy to read news magazine, right to your inbox. AND it's up to date, so you don't have to wait for the end of the month to find out what's going on. You can even subscribe a friend. Click here now?nid=92933!




by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92933

12:11 PM Mon 16 Jan 2012 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Cruising USA







Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,




Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science by Mahlon C. Kennicutt II and colleagues,




NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,




















Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,


Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,




Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,






Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott by Anna Parker and the Sail-World Team,








Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer
4.8 million Legos all at sea
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows
Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look   
Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases   
World ARC heading out of the Pacific   
Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt   
Desolation Sound added to Salish Sea Pilot free cruising guides   
Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors   
Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature   
PredictWind's Weather Routing opens your navigation options - try it!   
Sail-World Cruising Founding Editor Nancy Knudsen says farewell   
Book review: Weather - you like it or not   
Vaavud launches generation 2 wind meter   
The drama begins - North West Passage sailors rescued from ice   
Entering an unfamiliar bay - decision time   
Baby Nemos finding their way home   
High Latitude Sailing - Book of the Week   
Will the Olympics make a difference to Rio pollution? *Feature   
Blue Planet Odyssey, around world rally, begins   
Africa Europe Cruising Challenge now open for entries   
The real ‘Supermoon’ story   
Warm and noisy welcome for Oceans of Hope in La Rochelle   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT