Laura Dekker is the youngest female sailor ever to sail around the world alone. With her sailing trip, which she pushed through against many odds, she became a role model for courage and commitment and showed how to make your dreams come true.
Born in New Zealand in 1995 during a trip around the world by her parents, Laura Dekker has spent the first years of her life on a sailing ship that her father built for the trip. She visited school in the Netherlands. At the age of six, she has started sailing herself and made sailing trips within the Netherlands for several weeks during the school holidays together with her dog.
Supported by her father, she planned to sail around the world in 2009. But a legal dispute with the Dutch Child Protection Agency and several court decisions delayed the start by a year. In 2010, at the age of 14, Laura Dekker finally started her circumnavigation in Gibraltar, accompanied by great media interest.
On her sailing yacht Guppy, she sailed to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal and to the Galapagos Islands. From there to Tahiti, the Fiji Islands and through the infamous Torres Strait to Darwin in Australia. From there, she crossed the Indian Ocean non-stop in six weeks and finally reached Durban in South Africa in November 2011. Her last leg took her across the South Atlantic back to the Caribbean, where she docked in St. Marteen on 21 January 2012. At the age of 16, Laura Dekker is the youngest person ever to sail around the world – she is the youngest single-handed circumnavigator.
Numerous sailing adventures has followed in the coming years. In 2019, Laura Dekker established the Laura Dekker World Sailing Foundation. The sailing project is aimed at young people, with whom she not only wants to cross the world and teach them team spirit and social skills, but also pass on her enthusiasm and respect for nature. She wants to teach young people to overcome challenges on board and on land and show them how to experience adventure.
Laura Dekker is a much sought-after speaker. In her fascinating keynotes, she talks about her spectacular voyages across the world’s oceans and shares her experiences. She shows her audience how to learn to deal with critical situations and keep a cool head. Her approaches to problem solving and her handling of delicate situations are inspiring and together with her audience she takes a mindful look at the world and herself.
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