Laura Dekker

New Zealand born Laura Dekker is the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

Starting at the age of 14 Laura Dekker set off on her journey to sail solo around the world with the blessing of her parents, but not of the Dutch government. She completed the journey aged just 16 years old, proving all naysayers wrong.

Laura Dekker born in September of 1995 is the youngest person to ever sail around the world solo.

In 2009, she started preparing for her dream, a circumnavigation solo by sailboat. The Dutch government though, thought differently about Laura's plans and a 10 month court battle began. In July 2010, custody over Laura was given back to the parents and her journey began on the 21st of August 2010. She successfully completed her solo circumnavigation in '' Guppy" her 38ft Ketch arriving in Saint Maarten on the 21st of January 2012.

Laura was born in Whangarei, New Zealand during a seven year sailing trip by her parents. Her Dutch father was a boatbuilder and her German mother a street performer. As a family, they travelled for another 5 years before returning to Holland.

After her parents divorce in 2002, Laura stayed with her father living in various places around Holland while her father built a 60ft Norwegian Schooner named ''Havorn''. Starting sailing alone at the age 6 and upgrading her boats as she got older, Laura sailed in competitive dinghy races as well as offshore later on. At the age of 10 she had upgraded to a Hurley 700. This 7m seaworthy boat she bought herself from money earned doing all kinds of different jobs. She sailed this boat solo all around Holland and the North Sea. In May 2009 she sailed the Hurley 700 solo across to England. After that trip she was determined to achieve her and realise her biggest dream.

After she finished her round the world trip, Laura kept sailing. Instead of going back to Holland she followed her previous route through the Panama Canal and the Pacific heading towards New Zealand, where she arrived in Whangarei on the 2nd of September 2012. She worked for Dive! Tutukaka for while and then decided to explore her new home country a bit more travelling by car.

Laura tells a compelling story, and her feistyness and grit show though her life story thus far. A very entertaining speaker with a maturity beyond her years.


• Determination
• Believing in yourself
• Achieving your goals