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Old 27-08-2018, 09:52   #1
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Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

I just ran across this

17-08-2018
Guppy stranded on a reef

Dear followers,*

This last week has most likely been one of the saddest times in my life so far. My dear Guppy, my first home, my companion on the biggest adventure of my life has stranded on a reef in one of the atolls in the northern Cook Islands.

I loaned Guppy long term in full faith to a non profit organisation to sail with children after I had been promised to get paid for her by a couple who wished me to donate her to a good cause. The payment never happened - however I still decided that this future for Guppy would be the best and if she could inspire more children to live their dreams it would be all worth it. In April 2018 she left New Zealand with a crew of four, I was meant to be onboard for the first trip to Fiji but got very ill and was unable to take the weather window. The delivery captain who was supposed to sail Guppy to Los Angeles was also onboard, I had gone trough the whole boat with him and had full confidence he would get her to LA safely - however during this trip someone else skippered the boat who decided sailing her reefed down and a storm jib in max 18knots wind was a great idea. Guppy is a racer/cruiser - she likes lots of sail and yes sheís a very wet boat, anything over 10knots of wind means the decks will be wet and water will be in the cockpit. Iím guessing they didnít want this but of course this caused the boat to sail slow and roll heavily on the ocean swell. Because of this, the delivery captain made a crash trough the boat and broke his rib - he had to take a break in Fiji but was also not allowed to come back for reasons still unknown to me.

From there on Guppy continued her journey with a rather incompetent crew of which one by one left the boat until one person with very little ocean sailing experience was left single handing Guppy. I often attempted to tell them how to sail & maintain Guppy well, getting a big shock every time a picture would come by. They started having trouble with the engines that I have never had trouble with and were perfectly maintained before I gave the boat over, the suncover of the Genua started ripping of meaning the sail has been flapping to much or chafing somewhere. Lots and lots of canisters ( and other things) were tied to the railing against my advice of not leaving anything on the deck. Guppy has a low freeboard and therefore very quickly has lots of water on deck. The chance that the jerrycans are swept away and tear out the railing is almost inevitable.
On top of that they sailed to many islands which werenít on the planning, sometimes even in the opposite direction of which they needed to go causing them to end up way to late in the season and actually unable to safely continue to Hawaii because of Hurricanes.

You can imagine how I anxiously watched the tracker almost everyday - seeing very strange sailing patterns and low speeds for winds in which I know she could perform much better. To my big shock and surprise Guppy was then anchored in front of an Atoll on open ocean where anchoring is actually impossible and very, very dangerous to say the least. I wrote a message straight away but it was in vain. I watched how the tracker moved onto the reef and stayed there. Iíve been given very little updates or information on whatís really happened or going on now but itís confirmed that she is indeed on the reef, she has been there for almost one week and I know that no boat, not even a steel one, not even Guppy - could possibly survive this kind of impact.
So far the report of damage I have been given means sheís a total loss. Manihiki is a very remote atoll with very little resources. The sailor who sailed her at the time is luckily okay although needed some medical attention.

Somehow the news that Guppy is gone forever hasnít quiet sunk in yet, itís unreal, yet reality, and I will need to live with thisÖ
The journey of Guppy ends here, but in my memory of course she will always sail on.
Laura*
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Old 27-08-2018, 16:16   #2
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Wow, what a loss! Thanks for posting this. The documentary Maiden Trip is what got me sailing.
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Old 28-08-2018, 04:54   #3
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Sorry to hear this. We crossed paths with Laura in the South Pacific. She was (and I assume is) a unique combination of a kid and a very competent sailor. i wonder which atoll in the Cook Islands she was talking about?
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Old 28-08-2018, 07:58   #4
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Sorry to hear this. We crossed paths with Laura in the South Pacific. She was (and I assume is) a unique combination of a kid and a very competent sailor. i wonder which atoll in the Cook Islands she was talking about?


She said it was Manihiki. We were anchored next to her in Darwin, Australia many years ago. So sad!
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Old 28-08-2018, 09:45   #5
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Laura was conned, you can smell it right away. Iím certain they had no intention of paying.

Non-profits are often the province of self serving crooks with a smooth talk of the great service they do for mankind. In reality the dollar you give ends up being used for staff and directors salary. Very little reaches the people that it intended for.

I read Lauraís book and have great respect for her. Too bad the effort put into the boat my so many has come to naught.
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Old 28-08-2018, 09:54   #6
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pirate Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Met her in Panama aboard a friends boat summer of '14.. nice young lady unassuming and fun..
Sad to her she got conned and lost her other half in the process..
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:16   #7
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Quote:
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She was (and I assume is) a unique combination of a kid and a very competent sailor.
Not really a 'kid', per se. She's 22 and was married in 2015.
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:30   #8
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

To each his/her own but my rule is that the boat doesn't move if I'm not aboard. **** happens and usually at the worst time.


~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 28-08-2018, 10:53   #9
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

She got conned, so I'm not terribly disappointed the con-artists lost out too. So maybe she is still a kid so far as worldly experience of this type of rogue is concerned. She will no doubt cross paths with plenty more crooks like this - next time she'll know what to expect.
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Old 28-08-2018, 11:22   #10
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

This highlights the achievement Laura had with her boat.
When a bunch of "professionals", I assume, couldn't even sail Guppy across half an ocean.
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Old 28-08-2018, 12:45   #11
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Ouch. Now I wonder if she'll be hit up again, for environmental fees or wreck removal, since she's still the owner of the boat.
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Old 28-08-2018, 13:16   #12
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Probably conned by a bunch of Marina Del Rey millionaires who host "Cocktail Party galas" while patting themselves on the back for helping "Under Privileged Youths" meanwhile screwing over Laura.
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Old 28-08-2018, 14:12   #13
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

What a world we live in. Laura Dekker has my deepest respects for her sailing abilities and a good human being to the core. Sorry to hear of such an ending for a boat that deserved a better ending. Sad thing to hear.
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Old 28-08-2018, 14:15   #14
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Laura, both your heart and will are strong. Guppy served you well, and will forever live in all of us who have read and watched your movie, so she will not be scuttled in vain. God Speed on your next adventures in life.
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Old 28-08-2018, 14:53   #15
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Re: Laura Dekker's Guppy destroyed on reef

Very sad to hear. I met Laura as a baby in Whangarei, New Zealand & have followed her achievements since.
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