Dutch teenager Laura Dekker sets sail for record bid

Laura Dekker on her boat, Guppy, in the harbour of Brouwershaven on July 27, 2010 Laura Dekker was born on a yacht and began sailing solo when she was 10

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A Dutch teenager hoping to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world has set sail for Portugal, where she will begin her effort.

Laura Dekker, 14, was granted permission to attempt her voyage by a court ruling last week.

Dozens gathered in her home harbour of Den Osse to wave off Laura and her father Dick Dekker, who is accompanying her to Portugal.

"We want to be sure that the boat is completely ready," he said.

'Not really afraid'

Ms Dekker is planning to spend about two years aboard Guppy, her 11.5m (38ft) boat, to break the record set in May by Jessica Watson, 16, of Australia.

She must complete the trip before she turns 17 in September 2012 to break the record.

"I am not really afraid," she told reporters on the docks at Den Osse, where she lives on a boat with her father.

Asked what she would miss most, she replied: "Spot", her dog.

Ms Dekker had been under state supervision since October after a court in Utrecht placed a guardianship order, citing fears for her social and emotional development.

But the order was lifted last week by a court in Middelburg.

Her mother had expressed concerns about the solo voyage, but has since lifted her objections.

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

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