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Thirteen-year-old Dekker circumnavigation foiled

Aug 28, 2009 With British sailor Mike Perham just setting the record yesterday for the youngest solo circumnavigation, a little more than a month after American sailor Zac Sunderland established a new mark in mid-July, the bar for this record keeps getting set ever lower &mdash er, younger. Mike Perham's new record was in some danger of being completely shattered by 13-year-old Dutch sailor Laura Dekker. Until a Dutch court granted a request by the country's Child Protection Agency to make Dekker a ward of the court  to prevent her from departing on her voyage. According to a statement made by the agency, it was "irresponsible for such a young girl to make a two-year solo trip around the world." Dekker's parents obviously disagreed, as they had consented for their daughter to depart on the voyage aboard her 26-foot sloop. The Dutch Child Protection Agency has two months to show why Dekker should not be allowed to sail. If Dekker does get a chance to make her circumnavigation and succeeds, will we be seeing seven-year-olds making the attempt in a few years?
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