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Old 11-03-2012, 18:26   #346
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

The Laura case started when a local official, tasked with control of "leerplicht" considered that Laura could not be trusted to stay at school and that there was a substantial risk of her fleeing from the country. There were some individual disagreements between her and the "ambtenaar van de leerplichtwet" - I can dig up the whole record - and that lead from the one to the worse.
The stint of sailing solo to the UK did of course rouse all sorts of suspicions. And here we go again: No one distrusted her sailing capacities. It was just one civil servant who wanted to set his points. No more, no less.

You chime in with child neglect: well Youthcare in general is to protect children against mistreatment by family and already they have failed substantially. You cannot know that since you ar not familiar wit the circumstaces here, I am from a law-family and we are aware that outhcare is the hobbyhorse of political radical left in Holland - that aside.
Youthcare made the mistake to start a mediacampaign against Laura and what happens in most cases are that such campaigns blow up in your face. As did wqith Youthcare.

At the sam time, Youthcare made a grave mistake in another childcare case where they neglected fully their responsibilities and there they were confronted with their inadequacy on the one side and for the very simple reason that Laura was an easy target they focussed fully on Laura. My brother, who was also contra Laura, kept all the proceedings of the court-cases (there were three) so it became quite clear that the initial intent was not protecting Laura against any threat but only to keep her from sailing away. When that was established, and the fact that this particular civil servant who started the case did this out of a kind of grudge against "drop-out father and daughter" the judges ruling decided in Laura' s favor.

Now stopping from children doing this, I think the Anglo-Saxon's have tons of butter on their heads.
I just have to memorise WWI and WWII where under aged boys were directly sent to their respective deaths by the very same government.

From the very beginning, it was a lost race for Youthcare.
Very recently, two young boys with a slight reading handicap have been refused to go to school. And what are they going to do? Right: sailing! They got their grandfathers racing yacht and they are going to the Islands in the North and after that to the UK.
They are a bit older than Laura at that time but they are not over 16 I believe.

In this case Youthcare is nowhere to be seen.
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:47   #347
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

While I have total respect of Laura and her seamanship, her support team has got me mad as..... well you know STEAMED. As some of you might know, I've put a lot of effort on the sailing part of my forum, documenting Laura from age 12 to present, and except for one time, linked or gave credit to the original source. The one time I forgot, her people were all over the owners of the server farm that is hosting my site. I corrected this admission and apologized to Laura's people. I ran some original pictures taken by Nick aboard S/V Jedi of her in Panama and gave credit to Nick, even though he has a watermark on his work. (18) forum pages, which was everything, was pulled by my forum host with a hot email forwarded from Laura's people.

Laura, GOOD
Laura's handler's, a real piece of work.

I am bummed. I have never had my forum attacked in such a way, thank you Laura's handlers.
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Old 19-03-2012, 20:05   #348
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That's too bad you had such problems. I think trips like hers all start with great ideas and intentions but when 'handlers' get involved it all becomes about money and image. They may be trying to protect her from those who would do bad (making $ or fame off her fame) on websites, etc but they sound like they are overdoing it- big time. It's hard to fight it when they have all the time & cash to fight you.
Sorry!
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Old 19-03-2012, 20:13   #349
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

I'm probably going to move to a new domain as I've outgrown Lefora and don't trust them anymore. The reason I started my own forum was to have a democratically run forum where nobody gets banned or any thread is closed or removed. I feel like I lost control of my own forum when outsiders can make threats to the host, and the host pulls 18 pages that I had probably 10 hours of my own time invested.
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Old 19-03-2012, 20:14   #350
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

yes, it does sound a bit like they are being overly protective both of her, understandably because of her youth, and, in a much more draconian fashion, the monetary potential of her life and epic voyage. I certainly hope you will find a more reasonable host for your forum.
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Old 19-03-2012, 20:21   #351
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Astrid,

All I was doing was keeping her accomplishments in the forefront of the sailing community to help benefit her for her up coming book. I, of course will still buy a number of copies of her book to give as gifts (and keep one for myself), but all the hot rodders on my forum are quite upset that all of there posting history to that thread has been pulled by the server host. I think I need to find a new server host, but before I do, I need to see in writing the correspondence between Laura's handlers and Lefora. Her handler's might have been so nasty with threats, that it left Lefora with no choice.
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Old 19-03-2012, 20:35   #352
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You would think they'd appreciate free advertising- it's been a while (let's face it we have short attention spans these days) & they should be happy you are having her in your website.
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Old 19-03-2012, 20:49   #353
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Well, we all know she did it for the love of sailing, but it appears her handlers are motivated by the greed factor, and aren't bright enough to know they bit the hand of an ardent supporter that wanted nothing but very positive press for Laura.
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Old 20-03-2012, 11:15   #354
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

How did she fell in the hands of those legal gangsters?

It won' t do her story any good. Pity for Laura but this is the end of my interest. Not that she needs it but anyhow I have no good words for those entertainment robberbarons.
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Old 20-03-2012, 13:49   #355
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Laura has been supported through the long court case by lawyer Peter de Lange from the lawoffice Vos & De Lange from Barendrecht. A young team apparently well organised.

It is possible that Peter de Lange accepted her case on a PRO DEO basis. This is possible in Holland where in case of a legal affair one can in specific conflicts ask for legal service paid by the State. In Laura' s case the knife had two edges: 1) the legal matter itself and the media-circus around her.
Lawyers are quite sensitive to concentrated media-attention, especially when this stretches out over a long and exciting case with a high volume of human interest.
Basically her lawyer was paid by the government for the basic legal service and support and secondly took the media-attention as a bonus. It must be said that he helped her well and till the whole affair ended.

I come back later on with more info, I have to check my old files.

http://mercerpr.com/index.php?s=au&n...&news_id=28022
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Old 20-03-2012, 14:14   #356
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Ok, Laura' s manager is Gerard van Erp. He is probably the one selling her out to Mercer PR because of the voluminous media-attention she received in Germany (Thomas Gottschalk),
Belgium (Het Laatste Nieuws) and the HISWA Boatshow (Amsterdam Boatshow) where she did some lectures.

I saw that there are strong ties with Gerard van Erp and Bonaire, I have here some link with what this gentleman is carrying out. In any case it seems that he is Laura's 'handler'. Also her list of sponsors has been extended by more companies.
I think that Mercer PR will promote her all over the US, where there are bigger (and richer) audiences than here in Europe.

Yasni-Ergebnis für http://onlyinamericablogging.blogspot.com/2012/01/teenage-sailor-laura-dekker-becomes.html
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Old 20-03-2012, 14:41   #357
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

The reality of PR firms is to put a positive spin on their client's endeavors. In the case of Abby, that was needed for her book to sell after the knockdown in the Indian Ocean. What her brother Zac did, she was going to do too. Problem was both her start time and lack of ocean seamanship. In the never ending quest to be the youngest to sail solo around the world, her parents made the calculated judgement to send her off in a race boat. Being non-stop, and starting at the age she did, by employing this type of boat would help insure she held the record for longer than a blink in history. On the Cruiser's Forum, the old "rogue wave" taking someone out is a tired old yarn, but to the non-sailing masses that sales of the book were intended, it is viable. The real truth only Abby knows, but us in the sailing community and I as a professional mariner, suspect it wasn't that "rogue wave" but rather a young lady un-prepared for the sea state she found herself in at that moment in time.

Now as to Laura, she doesn't need any PR firm spinning her accomplishment, as she maintained control of Guppy in all the sea states she encountered, and IMHO, the conditions she found herself in rounding the Cape of Good Hope with a jammed headsail furler in 65 kt winds exceeded anything Abby came across. Laura had to choose between a knockdown (that most the time you recover from, just makes a mess for you), and chancing a venture to the bow in those conditions to wrestle down the sail that won't furl. She chose the later, and calmly removed the sail and continued on to Cape Town.

Laura doesn't need the services of that PR firm, her talents tell the story in an honest, no spin fashion. Here is how Abby's failed attempt was spun for future books sales.



Have I bought or intend to buy Abby's book? No. Same applies to Jessica Watson's book, as she sailed non-stop and it was just one long ocean passage. Laura's book I intend to buy a few copies, because she fought the good fight with her government, is a accomplished and awarded sailor, and she visited many lands and learned many new skill sets along the way. Scuba, surfing, cliff diving, herding water buffalo, self taught to drive a stick shift car, sailing a tall ship and race boat, clearing customs, weather routing, well she is the entire package and I just hope her association with the above mentioned PR firm does not detract from her accomplishments.
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Old 20-03-2012, 14:59   #358
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

I know Wild Eyes, the boat of Abby. I was interested to buy her for the Single Handed T.A. but a number of events kept me from my last chance to enter this race.
The boat was up for a refurbishing and I do not know if she was serviced. Your assumption is I believe quite correct. Wild Eyes sailed long stretches, was not that superfast but could come ahead with a field. The all over condition was quite sound.

I can see a reason why Laura is going ahead with a manager and these PR Sharks, although it is pure speculation.
I hope that she will find what she is looking for and let' s sse what the future brings.

I am off now back to my own boat.
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Old 20-03-2012, 15:10   #359
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

The reason Laura could need a manager, was to handle the real sharks; the nasty part of the media, who were only looking for a reason to criticise her and the team. Abby and her team had no manager, and see how infamous they were also before the accident.

Anyway: I write since I would like to share a transcript of a TV-interview Laura did on the first channel in Germany. She speak almost fault free German.
The interview is available on youtube (German only)


And my transcript translated to English is: link
The transcript is somewhat shortened, it was a little hard to understand all, for me who does not have German as first language. I hope I got it all correct.

The popular talk show host Thomas Gottschalk asked many questions, some interesting, some a little odd, but he supported Laura, and was impressed by her achievement.
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Old 20-03-2012, 15:17   #360
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Re: Laura Dekker's Circumnavigation

Laura' s family (mother and grands) are German; no surprise she speaks German.
I grew up in Germany and have no issues with the German language.
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