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Round-the-world teen sailor's father appeals for cash

Dutch sailor and 15-year-old Laura Dekker embarked on a round-the-world sailing journey that has led her across the Atlantic to St. Maarten. Now her father says the voyage is in need of cash and is looking for new financial sponsors.

On arriving in port Dec. 19, she told The Associated Press that she wasn't sure how long she would stay in St. Maarten or precisely where her next leg would take her.

"I will just stay here now for a bit and I will think about that," Dekker said. "I've not really a plan. I just want to be in the Panama Canal in May (or) April, so until that time I will cross the islands, I think."

Her original plans called for her to sail across the Pacific to Australia, around the southern tip of India, through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean and back to Gibraltar.

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Her father, Dick Dekker told Dutch paper Volkskrant that the team backing her, which consists of family members and others, needs money to visit her during her journey and carry out major repairs which might be needed to her boat, Guppy.

They had received some sponsorship money of 25,000 euros from a shipyard, but this has been used to pay debts on the boat before the trip began and other sponsors have not yet come forward, he said.

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