| GEO Amazing and Interesting|
| Dutch teen sets off for world solo sailing bid|
| Updated at: 1341 PST, Wednesday, August 04, 2010|
DEN OSSE: Dutch girl Laura Dekker, 14, on Wednesday set sail on her yacht, Guppy, for Portugal, from where she will begin her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.
"I am not really afraid," the teenager told journalists on the docks at Den Osse in the southwest Netherlands, before leaving port shortly after 9:00 am (0700 GMT) accompanied by her father Dick, who will accompany her as far as Portugal.
Dozens of people gathered in the small harbour town, where Laura lives on a boat with her father and dog, Spot, to wave her off.
Dick Dekker will accompany his daughter on the two- to three-week trip to Portugal, from where she hopes to depart on her two-year solo voyage in about four weeks' time.
"We want to be sure that the boat is completely ready," Dekker said of this final test run.
Asked what she would miss most, she replied: "Spot", her dog.
Dekker won a 10-month legal battle last week against child protection authorities who had been trying to stop her voyage citing fears for her social and emotional wellbeing.
A court last Tuesday rejected a request for the extension of state supervision over the girl.
Dekker, who has the backing of her parents, needs to complete the voyage before she turns 17 on September 20, 2012, to set the new record.