Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Mike Perham and Laura Dekker.

Mike Perham, arrived back in Portsmouth today, 29th August, and is lauded as being the "youngest person to circumnavigate the world solo with assistance."

Mike is 17. He was the youngest person to sail the Atlantic single handed, which he did when he was 14.

Mike left Portsmouth in his Open 50 racing yacht on November 15 last year.

During the 30,000-mile voyage he battled 50ft waves, gale force winds, numerous technical difficulties and his own fear of heights when he had to climb the mast for essential rigging changes and repairs.

The previous youngest person to complete a similar voyage was American Zac Sunderland who was two months older than Mike when he completed his voyage last month.

13 year old Laura Dekker would like to sail round the world single handed, she would like to be the youngest person to achieve this feat. She would like to break the Mike's record.

Unfortunately for Laura the Dutch authorities don't like the idea and have made her a temporary ward of court, while "psychologists assess her capacity to undertake the risky voyage."

Apparently Laura spent the first four years of her life sailing round New Zealand, which sounds quite a nice thing to do - but Mrs R wonders how this sets her up to sail round the world?

Mrs Rigby doesn't know Laura Dekker, she doesn't know how capable a sailor she is, although she has read that when she sailed across the Channel she was stopped in England whilst her parents were brought to accompany her home - but she managed it on her own. Mrs R notes that Laura hasn't sailed the Atlantic single-handed, and there's quite some difference between crossing the Channel and sailing all the way round the planet.

Mrs Rigby has some experience of 13 year old girls, she knows they can be moody, she knows they can be irrational and she also knows that they tend to grow fast. Mrs R remembers reading some time ago that teenage girls grow so fast that even the Royal Ballet School acknowledges that they lose some co-ordination and muscle control whilst the nerve fibres catch up with the bone growth, and adjust their practical training accordingly.

So, although Mrs Rigby admires Laura Dekker for wanting to sail round the world (and thinks her parents are bonkers for encouraging her), she isn't entirely sure that it's the right thing for her to do until she's finished growing - even if the Dutch psychologists decide she's mentally capable of enduring the stresses of the risky voyage and, presumably, time spent alone and all the other things associated with being a young teenage girl.

Mrs R thinks Laura should wait a while and maybe try to beat some of Ellen McArthur's records instead of just wanting to be "youngest".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mrs Rigby could try to walk on streets of Holland or other countries and then starts to saying what is better and what is myelin and other girls's -en and -in. Maybe girls after menarche ("some times ago" 15 years, now 9 years) should stop to do anything until the death, because menstruation means labor pains, throwing and shaking for many women and she will get breast cancer for sure. And don't worry about humiliation at TV,laughing when men are watching childbirth, because boys will do everything better and have honor.
Imagine 80- years Laura she is still waiting for the journey