Teenage solo around-the-world sailor Laura Dekker is on her way to New Zealand to try to call the country of her birth home.
Born on her Dutch parents' yacht when it was docked in Whangarei but brought up in the Netherlands, Laura sailed out of Tahiti last weekend and is due to arrive in New Zealand early next month, before she turns 17 on September 24. She has dual citizenship.
In January she sailed into St Maarten in the Caribbean on her yacht Guppy after a year and a day at sea and claimed to be the youngest person to sail around the world. Neither the Guinness Book of Records nor the World Speed Sailing Record Council recognise records for youngest sailors to discourage dangerous attempts.
Officials in the Netherlands tried to block her trip, arguing she was too young.
In a blog last week, Laura said it felt strange to settle in the place where she was born."It's a place I know in my heart but just haven't really seen with the eyes I'm looking with now. After these years sailing all over the world, I'm on my final trip to New Zealand. It's strange but I'm also really looking forward to it."
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