Friday, August 28, 2009
Court Delays Laura Dekker's Sailing Aspirations
While we're on the subject of solo-circumnavigation attempts, we've got an update today on Laura Dekker, the 13-year old girl who Dutch authorities took into protective custody a few days back to prevent her from setting out on her on solo adventure.
A panel of three Dutch judges has ruled that Laura's plan is "undeniably daring and risky" and has mandated that the teen under go psychological evaluation to determine her readiness for such a voyage. The state will maintain guardianship for two months, while she undergoes the evaluation to determine if she will be allowed to go after her dream of sailing solo around the world.
In some respects, this is good news for Laura. The two month delay will mean nothing in the greater scheme of things, and if she can convince them that she is both physically and mentally prepared for the challenges she'll face at sea, it seems she'll be allowed to make the voyage on her 26 foot yacht dubbed the Guppy.
It'll certainly be interesting to see how this case plays out. I personally still feel she is too young, even if the Dutch officials rule that she can go. She wouldn't be allowed to drive a car in most countries, and yet they're talking about turning her loose on the open seas, facing storms, high winds, mechanical failures, and worse. I guess we'll have to wait until October to find out if she can make the attempt.