13 year-old Dutch girl wants Perham's record

The Utrecht District Court in Holland today placed Laura Dekker under the dual custody of her parents and the Dutch Council for Child Protection for two months to prevent her attempting to become the youngest ever circumnavigator, the record Mike Perham has just broken.

Dekker was born in New Zealand during her parents’ round the world voyage and spent the first four years of her life at sea. She has the backing of her parents, now divorced, to sail around the world in Guppy, her 26ft Hurley 800. The case came to light when Dick Dekker, Laura’s father, asked her school if she could take two years’ off.

Laura Dekker will now be assessed by a child psychologist. Micha de Winter, a professor of child psychology at Utrecht university told The Times ‘A 13-year-old girl is in the middle of her development and you don’t do that alone, you need peers and adults.’