Laura Dekker Begins Trip to Become the Youngest Person to Sail Around the World Alone

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Fourteen-year-old Laura Dekker set sail a few days ago in her quest to do what California teen Abby Sunderland couldn't -- bump 16-year-old Jessica Watson from her spot in the record books as the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Laura's manager Peter Klarenbeek says that so far, "Everything is going well. She's very happy. The weather is very good. There's a bit of a strong wind but...it's no problem." The Dutch teen, who was born on a boat off the coast of New Zealand, has been gaining experience navigating the seas for the majority of her life. At just six she sailed a dinghy (a type of small boat) across the lake where she lived.

Still, many critics feel that 14 is too young to attempt such a dangerous journey. Before she hit the seas, Laura bought a bigger boat than she originally planned to use and took courses in first aid and handling sleep deprivation. A Dutch court ultimately felt she was prepared enough to make the trip alone and it would be up to her parents to allow her.
Track Laura's journey around the world here.

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