While the world still debates whether it was a good idea for Abby Sunderland to sail solo around the world at the age of 16, the courts in the Netherland are discussing if 14-year old Laura Dekker should be allowed to set sail as well.
According to this story from the Sydney Morning Herald, the Dutch courts will rule on Laura’s fate tomorrow on whether or not she can begin her attempt to sail solo around the world and try to set a new “youngest” record in the process.
You may recall that Laura wanted to sail last September, at the age of 13, but the Dutch Child Protective Services department stepped in, and prevented her from going. In December she would run away from home, and get as far as St Martin in the Caribbean, where she was eventually spotted. It is believed that she was hoping to acquire a boat there and set out on her own, circumventing the court’s ruling.
Since then, the court has said that they would consider Laura making the circumnavigation attempt as long as she passed a series of skills tests demonstrating her abilities. She has also purchased a larger sailing ship, one that is 30-feet in length, in preparation for the journey as well. If the court rules in her favor, she could potentially be underway in a matter of weeks.
Will Abby’s troubles in the Indian Ocean play an effect on the ruling? Stay tuned until tomorrow to find out.
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