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Dutch girl's solo voyage banned

Laura Dekker in court, 24 August 2009
Laura Dekker and her parents were not in court

A Dutch court has stopped a 14-year-old girl from sailing around the world on her own for at least eight months.

Laura Dekker seeks to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

But a judge ruled that concerns for her safety were too grave. It extended Ms Dekker's state supervision until her school year ends in July 2010.

Ms Dekker's spokeswoman said she was disappointed with the ruling, but added that the teen could still set the record if she were to sail next year.

Teen spirit

Judges at the Utrecht district court said Ms Dekker's sailing skills were not in question.

But they said her safety plan was not fully developed and that she had no experience with sleep management.

They also expressed concern over her ability to continue her schooling while at sea.

Ms Dekker was placed under state care for a two-month period in August, which thwarted her plans to set sail in September.

Her father, Dick Dekker, supports her attempt at the record, while her mother has expressed some concerns.

Earlier this month, Jessica Watson, a 16-year-old Australian girl, began her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

Ms Watson is trying to beat a record set in August by British teen Mike Perham who completed the round-the-world journey aged 17.



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