22 Jan '12, 1am

16-year-old Dutch teen becomes the youngest sailor to sail around the world solo

SINT MAARTEN, Netherlands (AFP) - 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 when she sailed into harbour on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten at 3pm (1900 GMT). Dekker, who left the island nearly a year ago to the day - Jan 20, 2011 - beat the previous record by some eight months. As she turns 17 on Sept 20, she had to complete her journey before Sept 16 to beat the record for the youngest sailor to make an unassisted world tour. Her parents and a 400-strong crowd of well-wishers - on shore and in small boats - welcomed the teen, dressed in a tee-shirt and beige shorts. Just to get to the starting line, Dekker had to fight her way through the Dutch courts, who at first blocked pla...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIS...

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