Teenage sailor in need of sponsors

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Laura Dekker's parents have launched an appeal to collect money for their daugther to complete her attempt to sail solo around the world. On her website, her father says sponsors are wary due to the controversy sparked by the fact she is only 15, making her the youngest person ever to attempt the feat.

The expedition itself is not threatened, writes Dick Dekker. But there is not enough money to repair any damage the boat might sustain or send someone over from Holland. "It would be nice to make some improvements to the boat or have my parents over, Laura told Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Commotion News of her planned trip caused commotion. Many attacked the parents for allowing their daughter, then 14, to undertake such a fraught enterprise. Eighteen months ago a judge placed her with child welfare to determine whether she was in a condition to take on the challenge. The evaluation was completed earlier this year and Laura set sail in August.

Dick Dekker blames the authorties for the cash shortage. Involvement of child welfare, he claims, scared off potential sponsor. And a lot of money, he adds, went to legal expenses.

Christmas A further problem is the lack of buyers of the video footage. A planned deal with TV producer Mas Media miscarried. To make up for the shortfall, people who visit the site are asked to donate at least 10 euros.

After crossing the Atlantic in several stages, Laura is now on Sint Maarten. Due to the lack of funds, her father has been unable to join her for Christmas. Instead, they speak on the telephone every day.

Pacific Laura is planning to cross the Panama Canal into the Pacific early next year. There is some urgency as she needs to be back in Gibraltar, her point of departure, by mid-September 2012 in order to break the current record.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

1 Comment To This Article

  • osita posted:

    on 26th December 2010, 19:38:03 - Reply

    Please donate generously to the poor-little-rich-girl, who is having to spend her christmas time on the carribean island of St Maarten (or similar) until January because of a 'cashflow' issue, and her father (who spent the sponsorship money before she even set sail) needs you to fund his flights to visit her whenever she is in port.

    Alternatively, donate to a child who doesn't have a roof over his head due to war, famine, abuse or natural disaster.

    I leave it to your conscience to decide who is worthy.