- 23 January 2012 | Windsurfing
Laura Dekker, 16 years and four months old, has become the youngest person ever to sail alone around the globe. The Dutch sailor arrived at the Caribbean island of St Marteen after one year and one day of adventures.
Dekker traveled 43,450 kilometres and has broken by six months the unofficial record set by Jessica Watson, from Australia. The young sailor sailed to victory in "Guppy", an 11.5-metre yacht.
Her new record will not be registered because the Guinness World Records decided to stop recognizing records for youngest sailors. The father of Laura Dekker was accused of irresponsibility and Netherlands was divided.
When Dekker touched St Marteen, she didn't tear down the Dutch flag. Laura has even told she might live abroad in the future. The Dutch authorities praised the "extreme strength of character" of 16-year-old sailor, but it was not enough to calm the young sailor.
St Maarten, the former Dutch Antilles, were the final stop of the journey because Laura Dekker she could be handcuffed if she arrived in the Netherlands. "Over a period of 11 months, I was constantly afraid that Youth Care would lock me up. It was a dream and I always wanted to do it" she added.