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Last Updated: Thursday August 27 2009 05:40 GMT

Should girl, 13, sail the globe?

Laura Dekker

A big row is going on about whether a 13-year-old girl should try to sail around the world on her own.

Laura Dekker, from the Netherlands, says she really wants to cast off on the challenge, and her parents think it's a great idea too.

But lots of people reckon she's far too young for such a dangerous adventure.

Officials say she shouldn't be allowed to attempt the voyage, and are taking legal action to stop her. The final decision should be made on Friday.

If Laura is allowed to begin - and finish - the 45,000km voyage, she'll become the youngest person ever to sail around the world on their own.

The current record holder is American boy Zac Sunderland, who was 17 when he finished his voyage. It took him more than a year.

Laura's hoping to leave in September in an 8.3m-long yacht called Guppy.

Laura's dream voyage

Laura told a children's news TV programme in the Netherlands: "My parents always knew it was a dream of mine to do this.

"And I want to do it while I'm still young, so I can break the record."