18 Jun 2010

Ban on 14-year-old's solo voyage extended

3:01 pm on 18 June 2010

Dutch judges have extended a ban on a 14-year-old schoolgirl's bid to break Jessica Watson's solo round-the-world sailing record.

Laura Dekker needs to complete her trip by September 2012 to become the youngest person to sail around the world unassisted.

The teenager, who was born on her parents' yacht off the New Zealand coast, had been considering claiming New Zealand citizenship in order to prevent the Dutch authorities blocking her plans.

Last week US teenager Abby Sunderland, who was on a similar mission, was plucked from her stricken yacht in the Indian Ocean.

Ms Dekker had planned to set sail last September but child welfare officials intervened.

The Dutch court remains worried about the girl's social, emotional and identity development.