Monday, August 24, 2009

Youngest Circumnavigator Mania

15 year old Mike Perham is about to finish his solo circumnavigation to possibly take the title of youngest from Zac Sunderland. In Australia, Jessica Watson, also 15 is about to begin a solo trip.

Now comes word from Holland that 13 year old Laura Dekker wants to start a trip on September 1st. The Dutch government is attempting to stop her by assuming legal custody from her parents.

It is tough and violent out there, even for the world's best adult sailors.

We also must remember that single handed, long distance sailing is technically illegal. International maritime law states that all captains shall maintain a proper watch at all times. This is impossible when single handing. There is a long tradition of authorities looking the other way, since the next at risk is usually the single hander's. In his book, Single-handed Sailing, author and sailor Frank Mulville implores skippers to not take unnecessary risks that could cause accidents for fear that one or more governments might start enforcing the laws.

It is difficult to say where all of this will end. Eventually, there will be blood.

Here is a story in Nederlands from de Telegraaf.

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