Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

Dutch child protection authorities move against young sailor

by Nancy Knudsen on 5 Jun 2010
Laura Dekker - now with a newly acquired Jeanneau Gin Fizz, Guppy .. .
Fourteen-year-old Dutch girl Laura Dekker may remain remain a ward of court and so unable to set out on her planned two-year solo sailing trip around the world.

The Dutch child protection authorities have asked the court to extend the girl's status, which was set to end on 1 July, shortly after which Laura wanted to begin her attempt. A court in the town of Middelburg has announced that it will consider the case on 14th June and give its ruling at 3.00pm on 17th June.


Since being made a ward of the court to prevent her departure before 1st July, Laura has purchased a Jeanneau Gin Fizz ketch and has been preparing the boat for a departure in late July.

The young sailor, who has already completed one circumnavigation with her parents, was not planning to attempt a non-stop passage, but a cruising circumnavigation, visiting many countries along the way. She was planning to take the 'warm weather' route, travelling westwards around the world. This would take her to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, north of Australia, south of Africa then north up the Atlantic back to her home port.

For this reason her journey can hardly be compared to those who set out to complete a non-stop record, such as Britain's Mike Perham, Californian Abby Sunderland and Australia's Jessica Watson. These journeys obliged the sailor to sail deep into the treacherous Southern Ocean. It was to be more like the voyage that Zac Sunderland(Abby's older brother) completed less than a year ago. (Both Mike and Abby were forced to stop for yacht maintenance reasons, and only Jessica was able to keep sailing in her sturdy Sparksman & Stephens 34)

Last year the court blocked Laura, saying that she needed more sea sailing experience, a first-aid diploma and to learn how to deal with sleep deprivation. She should also make sure that she continues her education while at sea. Laura said she wanted to study online while sailing.

Laura's father supports Laura in her ambitions, but her mother has said she is having second thoughts about the risky journey. Laura's parents are separated and she lives with her father, who is an accomplished yachtsman himself.

In the meantime, Californian 16-year-old is currently crossing the Indian Ocean in her Open 40, and heading for her last big test, back into the Southern Ocean again to round the southern tip of Tasmania. She has been gamely overcoming some quite serious problems on her yacht... but more of that in another article!
C-TechNorth Technology - Southern SparsZhik AkzoNobelb 660x82

Related Articles

MAPFRE set the Volvo Ocean Race bar with overall Leg Zero victory
Newer teams know they have more work to do, but there are still plenty of positives to take from the progress they made Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing became the third team to grab a victory from four stages in Leg Zero – a series of pre-race qualifying stages for the next edition of the round-the-world race – as they sneaked ahead of MAPFRE in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE seal overall Leg Zero victory
ast-improving Vestas 11th Hour Racing took the stage win with the shortest Distance to Finish at 0430 UTC. The decision to call a halt to the racing came late on Tuesday night as the stage had become a drifting contest, with the teams making a series of expensive gybes in a bid to find some wind, and latest ETAs predicting that the boats would not reach Lisbon until well into Thursday.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – What the skippers say
What a start to 2017-18 Leg Zero has given us! It's been exciting, intense, frustrating – and a great form guide We had an email a couple of hours ago from Race Control saying that the forecast was no wind at all and they decided to shorten the race which I think is a good decision because this Leg Zero was already becoming quite long and we are looking forward to finish and have a good rest.
Posted on 16 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE invest in west – and it's looking best
With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, fleet remained close together to the east of front throughout the night With the exception of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, the fleet remained close together to the east of the front throughout the night, experiencing light northeasterly winds as they sailed down wind towards Cape Finisterre.
Posted on 16 Aug
2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race - Leg Zero - Light wind as calms continue
The fleet restarted on Monday morning from the south coast of Brittany in the same order they finished yesterday The fleet restarted on Monday morning from the south coast of Brittany in the same order they finished yesterday, so it was no surprise to see MAPFRE and Vestas 11th Hour Racing take an early lead.
Posted on 15 Aug
2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race - And they're off!
The fleet restarted fourth and final stage of Leg Zero at 0615 UTC on Monday – with boats spread just over five minutes The fleet restarted the fourth and final stage of Leg Zero at 0615 UTC on Monday – with the boats spread just over five minutes apart from front to back.
Posted on 15 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE continue Leg Zero dominance in final stage
Extended periods of extremely light weather meant that the Saint-Malo to Lisbon leg had to be split into two parts. As expected, the Volvo Ocean 65s stayed tightly bunched on the first of those, a drag race towards Le Grand Lejon. Vestas 11th Hour Racing were neck-and-neck with MAPFRE for the lead, with the Spanish side just pipping them to the line.
Posted on 13 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – MAPFRE win qualifying sprint
MAPFRE had a lead of seven nautical miles when they crossed the finish line off the French sailing city of Saint-Malo. Team Brunel took second place in their first race sailing with new recruit Peter Burling, the Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winning helmsman, whose signing was announced just hours before the fleet's departure from England's south coast.
Posted on 11 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race – Leg 0 start
The third stage of the Volvo Ocean Race 'Leg 0' kicked off at 1300 GMT today from Plymouth. The third stage of the Volvo Ocean Race 'Leg 0' kicked off at 1300 GMT today from Plymouth.
Posted on 10 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Sailing superstar Peter Burling joins Team Brunel
The Kiwi joins his long-time sailing partner – and now Volvo Ocean Race rival – MAPFRE's Blair Tuke Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winning helmsman Peter Burling is joining Team Brunel for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The signing of the world’s most in-demand sailor is a major coup for Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking – and sets up what should be a compelling rivalry with Burling’s long-term sailing partner Blair Tuke
Posted on 10 Aug