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14 year-old sailor on world solo trip

08-22-2010 08:55 BJT

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A 14-year-old Dutch sailor departed in secrecy from Portugal on Saturday in her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. However, the ambition of the young sailor has aroused worries over child protection.

On Saturday morning, supporters and media gathered at the port to witness the departure of the young sailor Laura Dekker.

A 14-year-old Dutch sailor departed in secrecy from Portugal on Saturday in her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. 
A 14-year-old Dutch sailor departed in secrecy from Portugal on Saturday in her 
quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

However, the girl had left earlier.

Ferry Dammers, Voyage Sponsor said "At around 10.55 I spoke to her manager asking him what about her plans of leaving the port of Portimao and her manager confirmed she has already left early in the morning."

Laura's manager said the girl was in good spirits as she started sailing her 11.5-meter ship "Guppy". Her trip is expected to last a year or more.

The attempt has been criticized by Dutch child protection authorities who question the wisdom of a child risking the world's oceans alone.

FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010 Laura Dekker hoists a flag of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on her boat in the harbor of Den Osse, southwest Netherlands.
FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010 Laura Dekker 
hoists a flag of The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on her boat in 
the harbor of Den Osse, southwest Netherlands.

A Dutch court last month released Laura from the guardianship of child protection agencies who had tried to block her voyage because of fears about her safety and psychological health.

If Laura completes the voyage, any record she claims would be unofficial.

The Guinness' World Records and the World Sailing Speed Record Council have decided they will no longer recognize records for "youngest" sailors to avoid encouraging dangerous attempts.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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