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Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Boating Lifestyle, Carousel Feature, News and Events, US | 1 comment

Laura Dekker, Teen Sailor: “My friends thought I was insane”

Laura Dekker sailed around the world alone as a young teenager, but she still considers herself "just a normal girl."

What does Laura Dekker consider her greatest challenge? Her battles with the Dutch authorities, fighting for the right to go off on her own at age 14.

boats.com editor Dieter Loibner had a chance to talk to Laura just as the launch date for the documentary about her adventures was announced (March 10).

Laura Dekker

Laura Dekker sailed around the world as a teen, and now her experience has been captured in a documentary. Photo: Indiewire

DL: How did your friends react when you told them about your plan of sailing solo around the planet?

LD: They thought I was insane.

DL: Did your unique upbringing strengthen your resolve during the confrontation with the Dutch authorities that denied you the opportunity at first?

LD: Yes, maybe it helped a bit, but some people just have more willpower then others.

DL: Age-related records are no longer recognized.  Still, you are recognized as the youngest person to have sailed solo around the world alone, what does this distinction mean to you?

LD: Not much. I mean, it’s definitely awesome to have this title, but I’m still just a normal girl.

DL: How do you balance the need for solitude with your social life?

LD: I go sailing when I want to be alone and just around nature. When I want to be with people I simply drop my anchor. I’m not that much different from “normal life people”, I think.

DL: What was the approximate overall budget for this trip?

LD: I wouldn’t have a clue, just worked when I needed money. :) I never had a budget.

DL:  How much was covered by sponsors?

LD: Most of the equipment of my boat, but I did not receive cash. So solar panels, dinghy, parts of the engine, sails, life raft, and some other small things. I fixed the whole boat up myself though, together with my dad.

DL: What do you consider your greatest strength, your greatest weakness?

LD: On the upside, if I really want something, I just go for it. On the downside: A friend says that I am not patient enough with my opportunities. I want to take them all, straight away.

There’s much, much more… Read the entire interview with Laura Dekker

Watch an excerpt from Maidentrip

1 Comment

  1. As a sailor I was hoping that there might have been some pictures of the boat . Make or size. I guess there will be more info else where .

    So not a thing I would want to do myself . So not a decision I would like to take as a parent . (Which I am not ) .

    Goes without saying . Well done .