No support for teenage solo sailor down under

19th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

The manager of Laura Dekker, the youngest solo-sailor to attempt to circumnavigate the world, has accused New Zealand of failing to support the teenager reports the on its website.

The 15-year-old Dutch girl was born on her parents' yacht when it was docked in Whangarei, making her a New Zealand citizen.

Last August, she embarked on a round the world voyage that is expected to last two years. At the end of the month, the young adventurer is due to arrive in Australia for a two-week break.

Disconnected Her manager, Australian Lyall Mercer, says Ms Dekker does not take her New Zealand nationality lightly, especially as she feels "disconnected" from The Netherlands. The Dutch courts prevented her from leaving port at the age of 13, when her plans were first revealed. The girl was temporarily made a ward of court and required to follow first aid courses in preparation of the voyage. Nevertheless, a court descision to lift the restrictions a year later were unexpected.

In the , Mr Mercer said,

Kiwi spirit Dekker had "reached out" to New Zealand but no one appeared interested, he said.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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