Teen Ends Globe-circling Voyage In St. Maarten


Salon Staff
January 22, 2012 12:00AM (UTC)

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten (AP) — A teenager from the Netherlands has ended a yearlong solo journey around the globe aboard a ketch named "Guppy."

Dozens of people cheered as Laura Dekker waved and sailed into the St. Maarten harbor on Saturday, returning to the Caribbean island from which she set out on Jan. 20, 2011.

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Dekker celebrated her 16th birthday during the trip and claims she is the youngest sailor to complete a round-the-world voyage. The Guinness World Records has said it won't back that up because it no longer recognizes records for youngest sailors to discourage dangerous attempts.

Several Dutch officials tried to block her trip, arguing she was too young to risk her life. School authorities have complained she should be in a classroom.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN (AP) — A teenager from the Netherlands is about to end a yearlong solo journey around the globe aboard a sailboat nicknamed "Guppy."

Laura Dekker's web page says she's expected to arrive Saturday on the Caribbean island from which she set out on Jan. 20, 2011.

Dekker celebrated her 16th birthday during the trip and claims she'll be the youngest sailor to complete a round-the-world voyage. The Guinness World Records has said it won't back that up because it no longer recognizes records for youngest sailors to discourage dangerous attempts.

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Several Dutch officials tried to block her trip, arguing she was too young to risk her life. School authorities have complained she should be in a classroom.


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