Opinion: Laura Dekker Institute

POSTED: 01/23/12 6:25 PM

The Guinness Book of Records all of a sudden has decided to ditch its category “youngest.” This is a minor setback for sailor Laura Dekker who arrived Saturday in St. Maarten after completing her solo trip around the world as the youngest sailor ever to achieve this.
We think it’s pretty cool for a teenager to pull this off, but at the Guinness Book of Records there is now a policy not to punish, support or encourage improper record-attempts by minors.
We don’t know who these people are to come up with such an insane policy. Maybe they drink too much Guinness, who knows.
What kind of message are they sending to young people by doing this? Personally we couldn’t care less about a listing in the Guinness Book of records (though the description first journalist who managed to force a cabinet minister to step down in St. Maarten comes to mind as an option), and we think Laura Dekker should not lose one night of sleep over this either.
This girl followed her bliss. She had a dream and she made it happen, in spite of all the hurdles those so-called social workers in the Netherlands threw at her.
Now Dekker is so fed up that she is seriously considering not returning to the Netherlands. That sounds like a plan, because they did not want her to become a hero or an example for other young people anyway. They made her suffer. They did everything to prevent her from realizing her dream.
In St. Maarten Dekker will be welcomed by our Prime Minister. We’re pretty sure she will whisper in the young sailor’s ear something like, “I wish all youngsters in St. Maarten were like you.”
We don’t know what St. Maarten has in store for Dekker, but we sure wish that it is more than a picture album of the Queen’s visit. If the government wants to make the best of this remarkable event, it ought to offer Laura and her family a nice villa to live in and a job as the country’s first sports and youth ambassador. Thrown in a Laura Dekker Institute and the world will fall over backwards, wondering why nobody else came up with that idea.
And those people at Guinness, they can have their book of records. By skipping the category youngest, the book is now incomplete. We wonder if those social workers that harassed Laura Dekker got to them. Guinness claims it does not want to punish improper record-attempts by minors, but by leaving the category out of its book it is doing exactly that. and what is an improper record-attempt anyway?
Does Guinness for instance have a record for the idiot who manages to eat the most hamburgers in a stuff-yourself-to-death competition? If that’s not improper, we don’t know what is, but we guess such records will stay, because after all those hamburgers, contestants need to drink a lot of Guinness.

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Comments (1)


  1. Carol says:

    “The Guinness Book of Records all of a sudden […]”

    All of a sudden? Not so much, it was back in 2009, before Laura left. So it wasn’t a surprise to her; nor did she care.