Posts Tagged sailing

Laura Dekker Is Youngest Person To Sail Around The Globe

By age 16, I had delivered newspapers on a bicycle that I also rode one mile to school. Here is a girl who at the same age just sailed solo around the world. And she had to fight the Dutch authorities in the courts to do it. Ah me. We all lead such varied lives…Here first is the AP story:

Laura Dekker, 16, sailed into St. Maarten harbor on Saturday, January 21st, completing a 27,000 mile round-the-world voyage in a 38-foot yacht called “Guppy”. The Dutch teen broke an unofficial record set in 2010 by Australian teenager Jessica Watson. Dekker turned 16 during the trip, but she won’t garner any recognition for her groundbreaking voyage from The Guinness World Records, which doesn’t acknowledge records for “youngest” sailors. Dekker, who claims she was born on a boat and started dreaming about circumnavigating the globe when she was ten, caused a controversy amongst the Dutch government several years ago when she announced plans for her journey. Dutch officials tried to interfere, claiming she was too young, while educational authorities complained she should be in school.

Laura Dekker is just a kid...with a passion

I wrote about the start of Laura’s Voyage a year ago. Now here is the current, more detailed Guardian story by Emine Saner:

What do you do when you fulfill your life’s ambition at the age of 16? Laura Dekker, the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly, arrived at the Caribbean island of St Maarten on Saturday to a rapturous welcome and a relieved family. While we wait to hear what does next, we celebrate her life so far.

She was born to sail

Her Dutch parents were living on a yacht in a port in New Zealand when Dekker was born and she was six when she first sailed solo. At eight, she decided her dream was to sail around the world, and, aged just 13, Dekker sailed solo from the Netherlands to England and back—a trip her father had hoped would “cure her wanderlust”, according to her website. Her mother has said “she sails like a devil”, while her grandfather says “she’s a stoic. She will keep a cool head in the most extreme of situations.”

She is good with cockroaches

She took on six-metre-high waves and extreme weather—on one occasion, heading in to the Cape of Good Hope, her storm jib (a sail used in storms) got jammed and she finally managed to take it down in the early hours of the morning. Another of her sails ripped completely during the voyage. She slept on a damp bed and lived on rice and pasta, with cookies and pancakes as an occasional treat. She dodged near-collisions with cargo ships, and worried about pirates. Not in the least squeamish, she had to rescue live flying fish that had flung themselves into her cabin, and scrub the stinking remains of decomposing squid from the deck. She survived weeks at sea with no company—except for the ants and cockroaches that had stowed away in her cabin. On top of all that, she had to do schoolwork.

She is determined

All of the above was nothing compared to the battle she faced against the Dutch authorities before she set off. Read the rest of this entry »

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16-Year-Old Jennifer Watson Becomes Youngest Person To Sail Around The World Solo And Without Assistance

Another youngster makes inspirational sports history.

Jessica Watson upon her arrival back home in Sydney—5/15/10


This time it’s 16-year-old Jennifer Watson, an Australian who just completed a solo sail around the world. “People don’t think you’re capable of these things—they don’t realize what young people, what 16-year-olds and girls are capable of,” Watson told the raucous crowd at the Sydney Opera House, many wearing pink clothes and waving pink flags in honor of her 34-foot yacht, Ella’s Pink Lady. “It’s amazing, when you take away those expectations, what you can do.”

Jennifer at welcome back home ceremony with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd greeted Watson at the Opera House with a grin and a hug, dubbing her “Australia’s newest hero”—a description Watson dismissed.

“I’m actually going to disagree with the prime minister,” she said, as the crowd laughed. “I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dream.”

Nevertheless she survived the isolation, monstrous storms with waves 40-feet high and seven boat knockdowns. Her parents survived the storms of criticism for being so reckless and allowing their daughter to make such a dangerous 23,000 nautical mile journey. But Jennifer has been sailing since age eight, so her family was confident she’d make the trip safely.

You can read more details in this article by Kristin Gelineau. And you can also enjoy more about this incredible adventure by visiting Jennifer’s blog [/caption]

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David Dougherty Is A Passionate Athlete Biking Furiously These Days

David Dougherty says that he is a very “kinetic” person who has been active in sports all his life. He needs athletics as a balance to his business and family life and thinks nothing of playing tennis in four different games on a weekend. Or playing tennis in the morning and a round of golf in the afternoon. He also sails at a nearby lake and in Newport, RI when he can. Winters are filled with snowboarding and very aggressive ping-pong contests.

Most mornings these days he heads to his local Connecticut gym, where he cycles for an hour or two on a stationary bike that has a program hooked up to an online internet account. This way he can change his virtual course and also document how many miles he “rides” and how many calories he burns over a documented number of hours.

David Dougherty Cycling the Miles

David Dougherty Cycling the Miles

At age 53, he is now on a real flurry, pedaling as much as 32.5 miles in two hours some days, which always begin around 6:30 am. Over the last four months he has ridden 864 miles, burned over 40,000 calories, and expects to pass the 1250-mile marker this month. He is proud of his slimming-down, muscling up and has the heart of a lion.

David Dougherty Pedaling Furiously Fast

David Dougherty Pedaling Furiously Fast

Now here is what he wrote to me:

“In leadership training school, I learned the principle that “you do physical training to make your body as vital as possible.” This included working out, diet, rest, etc. I have been working out 3-5 days a week, 45 -120 minutes a day for 30 years. So what may seem excessive to you has been a life style and a leadership culture I grew up in.

The only time I have really gotten away from this is in the last several years, because of my business travel…..you and I come from somewhat different planets and norms….I am amazed that you can stay in such good shape and not work out much….good genes….it takes a ton of work now …..more work to stay in worse shape…..”

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