Dutch teenage sailor Laura Dekker strapped for cash

24th December 2010, Comments 0 comments


The 15-year-old Dutch sailor is on a solo around-the-world voyage in her yacht Guppy, hoping to become the youngest person ever to do so. Laura Dekker set sail from the Netherlands in August and arrived in the Carribean island of St Maarten last week after making a stopover in the Cape Verdean Islands. However, the team supporting her attempt is running out of funds and does not have the money to either pay her a visit or pay for possible repairs to her yacht.

The expedition has received a 25,000-euro donation from a shipyard, but Laura's father has confirmed reports that this money is nearly gone. And possible deals with media companies EyeWorks and MasMedia for the video rights to the journey fell through. Mr Dekker says he needs about 16,000 euros to get the ambitious project out of the danger zone. Laura will stay on St Maarten for a few weeks. She is planning on setting sail for the Panama Canal in January.

The then 14-year-old girl Laura Dekker was thrust into the media spotlight in August 2009 when her ambitious plan was first revealed. She was prevented from setting sail for the two-year world trip by the Dutch Child Protection Agency. The Dutch authorities made her a ward of court in October for a one-year period. In 2010, the judge decided not to extend this period since Laura's parents, who are divorced, are now both in favour of the voyage. Previously, her mother had reservations.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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