22 Aug 2010

Girl begins world solo sail event

10:48 am on 22 August 2010

A Dutch girl has begun an attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Laura Dekker, 14, who won a legal battle to sail earlier this year, left from Gibraltar at around 0900 GMT on Saturday aboard her 8 metre boat Guppy.

In April, Ms Dekker won a court case against Dutch social services, who had argued that the voyage could harm her emotional and social development.

Ms Dekker will make more than 20 stops along her route.

The BBC reports she has more than two years to complete the trip in order to break the existing record which was set in May this year by Australian Jessica Watson, 16.

Ms Dekker was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a seven-year world trip.