Teen To Sail Around The World: Would You Let Your Kid Do It?


Another teen has started her attempt at an around-the-world sailing voyage. Laura Dekker, a 14-year-old from the Netherlands left on Saturday, from the southwestern tip of Spain. Before Dekker, teen sailor Abby Sunderland from California attempted the feat, but her trip was halted by strong winds.

So far, Dekker is having better luck. Her manager, Peter Klarenbeek spoke with the Associated Press, and said “everything is going well. She’s very happy.” Though Dekker did encounter some winds, they weren’t enough to stop her, according to Klarenbeek.

Dekker was born on a boat off the coast of New Zealand, and went on her first sailing adventure–across a lake–when she was six years old. On her 13th birthday, she sailed to England, and is now attempting the biggest trip of her life–despite criticism from many, including Dutch child protection authorities. Sure, she replaced her old boat with a bigger, safer one and took some classes in first aid and coping with sleep deprivation, according to, but is that really enough?

Dekker’s trip is expected to last a year, or possibly more, beginning with two months in the Canary Islands off northwest Africa to wait out the Atlantic storm season, and involving schoolwork and family visits. But would that be enough for you to let your child try to sail around the world? Would you be supportive of a venture like this?



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