The Hindu reports:
Dutch teen Laura Dekker on Saturday became the youngest sailor to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world, a year after going to court for the right to make the attempt.The 16-year-old completed her solo round-the-world journey
Things I loved about this record.. Firstly, she had to fight even her country to try and achieve it:
Just to get to the starting line, Ms. Dekker had to fight her way through the Dutch courts, who at first blocked plans for her to cast off a year earlier — when she was just 14. The court ordered her placed in the care of welfare officers on the grounds that she was too young to guarantee her safety at sea. She ran away to Sint Maarten, an island of the Lesser Antilles divided between France and the Netherlands, and police had to escort her back home.
She finally won her court battle with Dutch child welfare authorities in July 2010 — after 10 months — and set sail, originally from Gibraltar on August 21, 2010 in her yacht Guppy.
Secondly, she did it at one go.
The previous record holder was Australian Jessica Watson, who achieved it in May 2010, three days before she turned 17. But unlike Ms. Watson, who circumnavigated non-stop, Ms. Dekker sailed from port-to-port and was never at sea for more than three weeks.
How often do you see such single minded determination, and then, the being able to achieve what you set out to do? Very admirable.
Edit (18.4.2012): She didn’t actually do it at one go. The previous record holder, Jessica Watson did. Bit of a misreading there. Apologies.