Teen sailor’s daring trip


At first glance she seems like any other happy-go-lucky teen. She walks around barefoot, her shorts could do with a wash and as she drinks her vanilla milkshake she makes slurping noises with her straw, determined to vacuum up every drop.

But anyone who follows the news will know Laura Dekker is anything but ordinary. How many other kids would dare set sail all on their own at the tender age of 14, aiming to circumnavigate the globe?

This is exactly what the plucky Dutch girl did – after a protracted legal battle, authorities in her home country reluctantly gave the go-ahead for the journey to proceed.

Now, 468 days later, having arrived in the treacherous Cape of Storms in roaring 55-knot winds with waves crashing onto the deck of her small boat, Laura (16) is well on course to becoming the youngest person to complete a solo sea journey around the world.

YOU’s Jane Vorster chatted to Laura at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Read more in YOU 22 December 2011.

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