LAURA DEKKER: Dissing Her Own Movie

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Maiden open

Laura Dekker, current holder of the unofficial “youngest solo circumnavigator” record, who thumbed her nose at Dutch authorities and insisted on doing it her way, has announced in her own typically cryptic fashion that she doesn’t think much of a film about her that has just been released to quite positive reviews. Maidentrip, an independent documentary film by Jillian Schlesinger, debuted last week at the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) media festival in Austin, Texas, and immediately won itself an Audience Award. Dekker’s own review of the film consisted of a single line posted on the homepage of her website: I am not going to say much about the film Maidentrip, but I won’t be representing it as I am not fully standing behind it.

Laura’s father, Dick Dekker, who supported Laura in her battle against the Dutch government (and initially her mom) as she fought to get permission to sail around the world on her Jeanneau ketch Guppy, has elaborated on Laura’s statement in a comment he posted today on the Dutch marine website Nauticlink. A translation from Dutch to English has appeared in the comments to a post on Laura’s Facebook page:

As Laura’s father I pretty much understand why she does not support that movie. Only a few minutes from all the pictures Laura took [during her voyage] was used for that movie of 90 minutes playtime! Except for a few minutes that were taken during a lull in the wind, there are no pictures that show the sailing. In contrast, a ten minutes lasting dispute between Laura and a reporter – they were arguing because Laura did not want to be in the news – is shown in that movie (that scene was shot by Jillian [Schlesinger, the filmmaker]). Moreover, there are many scenes that create a very strange impression of her journey. Laura does not recognize herself in that movie. It’s a big disappointment for the sailing enthusiasts since the movie is about all and everything except for the journey and Laura’s passion for sailing.

I’d like to say a few words about the recent positive critics on that movie. Since we [the family] have seen the movie we are pretty sure that all those reviews were written by people who only talked to the filmmakers. It’s impossible that they have seen the movie since their description of Maidentrip does not apply to the movie at all! Jillian, the filmmaker, always promised to Laura that she will make a documentary about the journey. After having watched the movie for the first time in New York several months ago, Laura was very disappointed and asked Jillian for several changes since the film did not show the truth. Jillian had promised to go over it once again, however, in the end she made it even worse (more lurid). Due to all those issues Laura has finally decided to refrain from that movie.

It’s very sad since she was very excited that Jillian would make something nice from all the great pictures that Laura took during her trip. Laura truly is deeply disappointed.

Indeed, Laura and her family had and still have very much trouble with all sorts of media attention.

As Dick’s post suggests, Laura did participate willingly in the creation of the film, shooting footage of herself and meeting several times with Jillian Schlesinger as she made her way about the globe. But, as Dick also states, she has always been uncomfortable dealing with the dogs of publicity. Her voyage started with her sneaking out of Gibraltar so as to avoid press attention, but she did ultimately hire a publicist to help stoke the fire of her notoriety while she was at sea. And since finishing her voyage last January she (or a publicist) has worked steadily to keep her name alive in the memory of the sailing public.

Laura Dekker in Amsterdam

Laura shows off for the cameras at a boat show last year in Amsterdam

According to an article published last week on Outside Online (it’s ostensibly about the film, but really it’s more about the voyage), Laura, who is now 17 and lives in New Zealand and works at a dive shop, is hoping to launch another big voyage soon. My guess is (like anyone) she really wants to have it both ways: some publicity to help her do what she wants, but without the hassle of having to actually deal with media people and their version of the events that make up her life.

Maiden still

As for whether the film is any good or not, I can’t tell you, as I haven’t seen it. I’m in the middle of pestering the filmmaker about remedying that, so please stand by.

UPDATE: I did get a chance to watch the film and thought it was very good! You can read my take on it here. The review includes some interesting tidbits from Laura’s ex-publicist. Also, since I first wrote this it seems Laura’s opinion of the film has mellowed a bit, as she has taken to publicizing it online.

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78 Responses
  1. Sydney Bloom

    I can understand her feelings about how the journey was not documented!. However films for me differently than Journeys. Is clarification is needed it is only because humans don’t have the words two clarify the journey. Honestly I believe personally that the movie was very well made. I did notice the missing in action of ceiling and, Lead up to the launching of the boat. People do not understand what film cannot capture. The actions, the motions the thoughts. Any still meeting you have to capture an entertainment. However, people on quests to make journeys don’t have to think how to express these experiences to others.
    Assuming that the film maker was trying to be as truthfull as possible.. The journey was well documented, And it seems to be a truth of a solo endeavor. I feel it really needs an artist’s interpretation instead of a documentarian.

  2. Linda Domecus

    [color=green]:arrow::arrow::D:DLaura,
    I’m sorry we don’t get to see your well-tuned sailing skills at work, nor an appreciation of what was probably an adrenalin-filled journey. However, what we do see is a well-grounded, confident, strong, courageous…young lady. You are such a likable person, warm, genuine, and all the other things I mentioned. We would have enjoyed a film of you cleaning your room, or studying a book, lol.

    What I ask, is it possible that someone could put together a film using the more exciting, or beautiful footage that you may have, or is the film the property of the filmmaker? Regardless, please know that your journey is thoroughly awe inspiring, and an excellent way for us to live vicariously through you, or to give our children a can-do attitude!

    Thank you!:D[/color]

  3. Christopher Walrath

    I hate that she doesnt like the film. I watched it and i was amazed by her and her force of will. you see the abby sunderlan wild eyes movie and she has this huge team and all this technology and this million dollar boat. You see laura and her dad by a cheep bout out of a field fit it the best they can afford with no sponsors. You may not like the film for the sailing aspect laura but god damn it you are an amazing woman with a force of will 2nd to none when your were in the storm in south africa all i could think is this girl is the champion of the world. I dont understand what made that father think there was anything lurid in the film i saw none of that i saw and amazing girl sail around the world see cool places meet an awesome couple and then decided she needed to go to her true home down in NZ she should be proud of this film because everyone who sees it may not see all of what laura wishes but we all come away thinking This is a roll model this is an amazing girl. in a world where women in most places are considered 2nd class citizans she holds her self with aplomb and is just fucking cool. Laura Dekker you should be very proud of this journey and this film
    because you come across as Kick ASS

  4. Doug

    Just watched the film. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I think Laura is a incredibly brave young woman and her father is an inspirational role model. Too bad Laura is disappointed with the film however. From where I sit I saw no fault. I think her expectations are unrealistic that someone watching movie from the comfort of their home can take away the same feelings and experiences of such an incredible voyage that Laura obviously experienced first hand.

  5. Joe Smith

    The bravery and maturity exhibited by this girl is simply amazing. And we got to witness her sailing skills, unlike someone who said we didn’t. She made it!! Glad I found this

  6. Lolamaree

    I just watched the film .. As a person who could never imagine such a feat, I wondered what it was like at night, how did she sleep, was she ever scared, did she really ever feel alone? She exhibits a rare courage and determination to set her own course, a course for self discovery, it is remarkable to see someone so young that is so free from the influences of others, and the only voice she hears is her own, and that is most acute when the winds are blowing and the seas are rough. Bravo for you Laura Dekker!!

  7. Jess

    I really enjoyed the film because I’m thinking about taking up sailing. There was nothing “lurid” about it, as described by her father. I agree with the comments about minimal sailing footage, but it did a good job of showing her fortitude, and dealing with mixed emotions including loneliness. Compare it to “Wild Eyes”, where Abby Sunderland hunkers in her dark cabin for half the film waiting for her Dad and Team to swoop in and fix the autopilot for the tenth time, only to have the boat dismasted in the Southern Indian Ocean.

  8. Edward

    for someone who’s never been a sailboat to see this documentary was absolutely amazing to see someone so young so brave someone at that age is remarkable when I was at her age I was playing video games never thinking what could be out there she is so brave so headstrong fearless incredible there are not many like her I could never imagine doing that with the crew let alone by myself I think the documentary was beautiful to see all the different cultures I was reading the other comments about how she’s disappointed in the documentary of not showing the true skill of her talents but anyone knows they are there for what you did

  9. Jeffrey Orling

    I am a owner of an American who has owned a 36′ Dutch sailboat (Contest) for 28 yrs. I read about Laura’s trip on sailing forums and it wasn’t until yesterday that I watched the film. On balance I thought it was a good film. As a sailor and one who has single handed some long passages over the 28 yrs I haved ownd the boat I was obviously interested in seeing more about the sailing and some of the other technical issues like watches and sleep, communications, provisioning weather forecasting etc. I was particularly interested in her passage through the Torres straight and the Cape Horn landfall. I was unaware from the film about her lay overs etc. But in the end I was thrilled and proud of this young lady and her accomplishments. Obviously she was around boats since she was an infant and sailing was second nature to her as walking is to a landlubber. Good for her!

  10. Bob Campbell

    An interesting film having followed her journey periodically from her fight with the Dutch authorities and her actual trip. She was and is a teenager. They entertain us and bug us with their teenage emotions and their fickleness. She has chosen to use her teen years that in a way that most of us never even dreamed of. What an amazing life for a 117 year old. I wonder where she will be 30 years from now. I fully understand her her difficult balance between celebrating her notoriety and her wish for her own private adventure. Her 500 plus days afforded her with an education that far surpasses any thing she could have learned in school. Even if she read only half the books on her shelf she was ahead of most students. I did think the argument with the reporter was a bit invasive of her personal space. I was left wanting to see more emotion, more fear, more how she made repairs, how did she sleep, safety, sailing, etc. Lots left out. I did like her swearing, and I suspect that being an incredible sailor there were times of panic and intensity that her choice of words would have matched that of any sailor. I can only imagine the words when a sail ripped or even when the ravioli spilled all over the place.

  11. rihammond@aol.com

    I have started reading Laura’s book and the film varies greatly from the actual facts, even though the film inspired me to read her book Her book is now translated into English (Oct 20th). I would suggest reading her book for real facts and you will be impressed how MORE amazing this young girl really is.

  12. Mike Skonicki

    Don’t kid yourself. Only once in a very long time does a person like Laura Dekker come along in history. To do what she did at such an early age is truely remarkable. There won’t be someone like her in global sailing for some time to come. She is on par with Lindberg!

  13. wayne

    Laura is an amazing young lady. I would like to have seen more of her actually facing the challenges of the sea. Laura is the hero of this story but she clearly got her grit from her dad.

  14. NOVA

    Well, Laura still has all of the footage, she could make a second movie that focuses on the sailing and probably a third on the naturalists view.

    As a non-sailor, I was very interested in her as a person (not the lurid aspects) but what type of personality takes on such a voyage. She appears to have that type of prickly, leadership personality that makes great leaps into the future and pulls the rest of society forward. I was surprised that she wasn’t a reader, yet still a deep thinker, a visionary. She clearly focused on the goal and then carefully planned the strategy to get there. She accepted support and help from others. She succeeded.

    Depending on her interests, she could be a great leader in her future. I am talking Mao, Indira Gandhi, Hatshepsut, Washington, and MLK, Jr. Each one had their own inner compass and forged ahead despite naysayers and all made a great impact on the world.

  15. Rob

    Maybe because she is young, and some of the journeys story can be intemperated in its reduction (the film process) as vulgar to someone sensitive like her, and she wants land after land, and she needs quiet probably for epipnony after epipnony, she didn’t care for it too much. This article might offend her sensibilities. She will like the fame bit, and who she is, and what she did when she dies a little more, gets a little older… I think she does have a complaint, but she shined through. She could represent this planets best spirit.

    I probably could have gotten a better intro to sailing from her than the book I just bought…

  16. Pat

    I loved watching moments I thought authentic and genuine of her. Her technical skills and comfort on the seas were not appreciated by this film. The extraordinary part of this film–which revealed her capacity to take it on, commit to it, follow through, maintain her center, cope, reason, and persevere–were also not sufficiently explored. What I noticed is that he has the resilient temperament of some foster kids I’ve seen, with enough bare bones support from her dad especially and others, that she could do this and still appreciate the need and desire to be alone after stops.

  17. steve behrendt

    I’m sure the film could’ve shown more of Laura’s sailing prowess along with other fascinating scenes. But I agree that the true inspiration was her mental conquest of such a formidable undertaking and her ability to convey the process to the viewer. It’s astonishing insight and amazing wisdom well beyond her youthful years. It was as much a journey of the mind as well as a supreme test of physical expertise. They could’ve made it a 3 hour movie and I would enjoy every minute. I am literally awestruck. How I’d love to shake your hand, supergirl!

  18. David O'Dell

    I Saw Maidentrip several times. I hear what Laura says, and that is actually really common about filmmaking and intentions going astray. The footage is beautiful and I have that gorgeous blue still stuck in my eyes after several days. Her narration is modest and endearing as was the animation of maps, and the music. That lended in concert to Lauras sunny outlook and calming spirit. I was deeply touched by the movie and her. She not only left me with a yearn for the open ocean, but an amazing admiration for the intrepid youngster. She not only did something impossible in a lot of American minds, but created a tidal wave of empowerment for young women.

  19. HD

    I just watched the movie tonight. And would have enjoyed seeing more of Laura sailing skills as the boat sailed thru rough weather. But if you look at the movie as a view of a young girls growth and movement in to becoming a young women. I think all parties involved did a wonderful job.
    To see the growth in Laura the person from the beginning to the end as she decides to sail on back to New Zealand, is just assume. The movie maybe about her sailing adventure. But it also about her coming of age and maturing in to a strong young adult. Who has comet understand what she wants to do with her life. Laura Dekker ROCK’S, she’s the real deal. May all her journeys be filled with wonder.

  20. Donna

    As a parent I would have been ecstatic to have Laura as a daughter. She is fearless, an inspiration to all and has accomplished more that many of us will ever do in a lifetime. She is truly living life to the fullest and nothing is able to hold her back from accomplishing her goals. Kudos to her dad for supporting her, fighting for her rights to engage in a challenging and ambitious trip and for letting
    her go and live her dream. Laura radiates true happiness. Imagine a world populated by the ambition and determination of leaders like Laura.[color=aqua][/color]

  21. John Briggs

    I’ve just seen Maidentrip, and it makes sense to me that Laura has reservations about it. I respectfully disagree with her. It’s a carefully-done film, and I left it feeling I knew Laura.
    I, too, would have liked to see more of her sailing expertise and of the passages through the Torres Strait and around the Cape, and I thought initially the long scene with the insensitive reporter was superfluous. I’ve changed my mind. I liked the way Laura’s jaw tightened as she got angry and the way she ended the interview. The scene was an economical demonstration of why she is so disenchanted with staid, predictable Holland.
    And back to the Torres Strait. The film cut away there from Laura at night, clearly worried about the dangers ahead, but competent. She kept her head and sailed her battered boat into port. The film-maker gave us too little of the passage. A less skillful director would have given us too much.
    This is a film about a girl growing up before our eyes, while Laura seems to expected a film about her sailing accomplishment.
    I’m sympathetic to Laura, but I’m glad for this film, though it may, on reflection, be a sad film.
    Laura, here, is a girl, a young woman now, who doesn’t fit, though she mightn’t fit in any time –“Miniver Cheevy, born too late….” She sees the world and wants it all. I, a poor and timid sailor, greatly admire her sailing skills and general competence, but I admire even more her strength of character. She’s unwilling to settle for a routine, and I, at least, have known only a couple of people who match her courage to do rather than dream.
    I also liked the undramatic scenes in the film. Laura is pretty, and her sensibility comes across in the film she shot, her voice: the dolphins, the big moon, the reef, her sailing parents in Polynesia.
    Tough, Laura, but I think this is a good film about an impressive person. I wish you well.

  22. Tim Campbell

    Laura was very blessed to have a father whose passion for the sailing life instilled in her, from very early on, the knowledge, skills and a similar love for the ocean life that well equipped her to accomplish this feat.

  23. J. Basile

    I’ve got to agree with Laura. I don’t think one can sail around the world wing on wing in light airs. I loved the movie, but it’s an hour short. The extra hour should have been real life sailing.
    Without actual sailing footage the film is too “cutesy”. Yes, she is a pretty young woman, but what she did takes extraordinary skill and courage. I think the filmmakers ultimately did her a disservice.
    And Laura, for what it’s worth, you have my deepest respect and highest regard.
    You rock, Kiddo!

  24. joe pereira

    Not knowing what kind of footage was left on the cutting floor, I will have to abstain from defending Laura or Jillian. Storytelling is an art–as is documentary filmmaking. For a long time, I resisted watching Maidentrip on Netflix because I didn’t think it could hold my interest. When I did finally decide to sit down to the 82-minute film, I was pleasantly surprised by the story. I thought it was a good yarn. The monotoned theme lent itself nicely to the long uneventful passage of time that is one of the main experiences of sailing across an ocean. But a big story within a story was missed, in my opinion. For Laura, the trip proved to be a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood, albeit prematurely at age 16. But how that happens is never quite captured in the solitary monologues along the way or the weekly blogs that Laura posted to help us understand her coming of age. We only get a glimpse of the transformation by Laura’s announcement at the end of the 17-month journey that she won’t be going home to Holland and her dad. That internal metamorphosis would have catapulted Maidentrip into the pantheon of literary works. Nonetheless, the film was thought-provoking.

  25. Glenn Sweet

    Like everyone else, I was disappointed that the sailing was left out….yes, a young girl coming of age was interesting but, c’mon, hasn’t that theme been explored to death by Hollywood. Here we had a chance to see a youngster circumnavigate the planet and I thought that was a mesmerizing theme in itself. Also, would have been nice to know if the dad finished that beeee-uuuu-ti-ful boat he was building. I would have much rather learned of that than watching the boring scene of the un-interesting mother sling-shooting fish….duh!

  26. Maria

    I just finished watching Maidentrip and liked it a lot. It was a good film about a skilled young girl who matured to a young woman during her trip. Anyhow, sailing seemed too easy, just sitting on a boat and talking to the camera. I also would have wanted to see some actual sailing things, as I have never sailed myself before. Many times I thought to myself that how does she know the exact route, how does she know what is happening while she is asleep and how did she handle storms and other rough situations. Sadly the director chose not to show those parts.

  27. andy

    Wonderful inspirational person, brave tough and single minded. You appear to have grown up ahead of your years. That’s not usually a good thing but left to do so this movie proves that the VERY best comes from children when we leave them to find the world THEIR way. Learning lessons about patience, living in the present moment and accepting the life around you good and bad is a lesson that many people die before understanding. You give the viewers an insight into your realisation about time and its pointlessness amongst MANY other deep reflections. Take heart Laura, viewers can see so much more positivity in this film than JUST the sailing accomplishment. Im a sailor (though far less competent and brave) yet the inspiration for me is your ability to see the madness of the developed world for what it is….. a waste of time and life. I hope you continue to enjoy yours, free of the chains that shackle most of the modern world.

  28. sean

    This incredible young lady has just made me realise what an absolute armchair slob I am. Fantastic in the true sense of the word.

  29. Marlo

    As a teenager having your life documented is probably worse than sailing solo around the world. At least least she went for her dreams, hope that she keeps doing so.

  30. Steve

    The film is inspiring and moving. As a sailor, I would love to learn more about the trials Laura faced (and overcame) while sailing alone around the world.

  31. danna

    I want to watch her journey over and over again. She would surely have a different perspective of the voyage as the viewer as she is doing what she loves and is passionate about and from that perspective she possibly isn’t focused on the inspiration she’s given others to follow their dreams, but rather her experience and skills in sailing. Great film, perhaps she’ll show us more in the near future — I look forward to it!

  32. Pete

    Congratulations Laura Dekker, thank you for sharing your journey with us. You have found a treasure that so many people desire to have, yet they throw it away and give up. Thanks so much for being brave, determined and passionate…. thanks for living the dream. May you live long and prosper my friend, take care.

  33. Anonymous

    this kid is amazing I sail and today I couldn’t even make it out of the bay the wind too strong and I am a 59 year old male who spends a lot of time in the gym I feel like a wuss in comparison

  34. Capt Norm Weston

    Laura as an old sailor I can well tell you you lived my dream. You didn’t let life get in your way….if you ever need a mate call mme

  35. Deborah

    Laura I thought the film was very good what a courageous girl you are don’t ever lose that fearless nature you have within your self. It’s a gift

  36. Linda

    Hi Laura,

    I am a substitute teacher in NY.
    I share your documentary with high school students.
    They all think you are an inspiration to “Follow Your Dream”.
    It’s a wonderful documentary!
    Thank you for sharing your journey!

  37. Shannon Wimberly

    I thought the film did show your courage and bravery. So much so, you are a big hero to me. I’m sure there is much that you wanted to show in the film, and i’m sure you will get that opportunity. I would like to know more about sailing, and there is no doubt in my mind you are the expert. Thank you.

  38. Scott

    Laura my family and I really enjoyed your move, Inspiration to all to follow their dreams and live life to the fullest. Thank you brave girl !

  39. Anne

    kudus to you Laura for following your dream at such a young age, and to your Dad for having faith in you and your accomplishments. Really enjoyed the film, and it is an inspiration for young and old to follow their dream!

  40. loon wolf

    I liked her until she felt compelled to display her vulgar language. Yes.. I use it myself but I don’t like it at all in young girls (or boys) I instantly felt disappointed
    in her and the movie and the whole enchilada. I know she cares less.
    from a ex-us marine

  41. Robin May

    I liked her until she felt compelled to display her vulgar language. Yes.. I use it myself but I don’t like it at all in young girls (or boys) I instantly felt disappointed
    in her and the movie and the whole enchilada. I know she cares less.
    from a ex-us marine

    [quote=undefined]undefined[/quote
    That’s what’s so great about her. She doesn’t care how society thinks she should act. She’s a free spirit in every sense of the word. She’s driven, intelligent, and marches to the beat of her own drum. I envy her and her carefree spirit.

  42. Detty

    I like your film.very mature for such a young age. What i really missed was at night how you managed to keep away for tankers and so…..thumbs up for such an acomplishment

  43. Nancy cole

    undefined

    The film is inspiring and moving. As a sailor, I would love to learn more about the trials Laura faced (and overcame) while sailing alone around the world.

    The film is inspiring and moving. As a sailor, I would love to learn more about the trials Laura faced (and overcame) while sailing alone around the world.

    I also would like more on the trails and tribulation of sailing, storms, and the sheer hard work if sailing. A remarkable young lady with true grit.

  44. Emma g

    The whole documentary is her sailing, without it being 16 hours long, you have to pick and choose what’s TV worthy. I don’t sail, and honestly is this film had been anything different than what it was, I probably would have shut it off half way through. Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth here- she’s a gifted (stubborn) sailor, accept the media hype that comes with the storm you created.

  45. Availa-Bill

    I only sail where I can see land on four sides. My wife said I should sell my sailboat before I drown. Oh, to be a teenager again! Follow your dreams!

  46. Mike O'Conner

    I have watched the movie a couple of times over the last few years. Just finished the second time (going through a wicked sailing jones…) and I have to say I enjoy the movie. But what’s missing, from my perspective, is the SAILING. It would be wonderful if Laura took her vids and put them into HER movie… and just launched it in Youtube. I’d love to see her setting her sails, rigging for different aspects of weather and wind. She’s clearly quite a captain.

    Here’s hoping she is well and moves forward on another safe adventure.

    Sale safe and be fun!

    Mike

  47. Betty McRuer

    I thought the film was very exciting. I had sailing friends whose boat crashed on Rocks in the Cape of Good Hope. She is certainly brave and an intelligent person and should be admired by all. I didn’t hear bad language, but then my hearing leaves a little to be desired.

  48. Richard

    I feel in Love with Laura in the Film – such a Charmer …. Got me yo Buy the Book and read it in 1 Week – Maybe Laura will see the Movie as the introduction to her Book and reading as much of her Story as SHE wanted us to share – in time she will see without the a Movie – we would not have read the Book

  49. Tammy

    I just finished watching the movie and had never heard anything about laura previously . But even before reading this blog I thought “where is the sailing?” the hard stuff the hell this girl had to go through. I felt that they spent more time on land than on the water. I did enjoy the film but agree with llaura it lacked a lot and was not a good representation of her trip. ! I loved the part with the reporter she was anoying and was not even asking questions about saiing but more of stupid gossip tabloid crap. Great job laura

  50. michaelok

    I am one of those folks that saw the film on Netflix and I thought it was very inspiring. When she’s out there, with these tremendous clouds and storm, and she’s like, yeah, it’s windy. That was powerful. Sure, I can understand her dad’s point about not including any of the pictures, but consider that the film maker is the artist, and Laura is the sailor – the subject, we wouldn’t want Jilian sailing and Laura filming would we? Certainly, she should have made adjustments in the film, after all, Laura is the star, she is the reason the film exists, so I do see a bit of the journalist twist here, where perhaps Jilian presented a different side. Recall that Stephen King hated Kubrick’s film, yet it was a masterpiece. Now, here’s how the film changed my view: when I originally heard of these 12 year olds doing these crazy trips, I thought, oh yeah, just nuts trying to win the Guiness (or Darwin Award). Now I see her incredible drive, and determination, courage. This wasn’t at all what I thought. So hopefully the movie got some things right. All she has to do is let Laura talk, so hopefully something comes through that’s true.

  51. Decco1

    Wow, wow, WOW! Laura, Laura, Laura……. you are an inspiration. Amazing… Brilliant…. Some voyage. People saying you have an adventurous spirit is a MEGA understatement. You are a champion to me and my heart goes out to you. Love you. Hey, it’s ok to be pissed off with a miserable pushy-bully interviewer. I/we are on your side 100% girl. I hope you keep that peace you reached in your life and that your beautiful heart gets all the pure love it truly deserves. And that in this life that your wonderful spirit grows ever stronger as it shone though like a beacon [for me]. I was enthralled by your beautiful personality and fascinated by your “made to look easy” style of sailing. An enchanting film about a precious young lady. I pray for your happiness. Keep in touch with [was it] Mike & Deena and other such good natured and loving people that can warm and refuel your heart. You deserve it. Remember parents – at any singular moment in time – are usually doing the best they can manage with their lives and certainly most of us are not at all perfect at it. Love you, thanks for sharing this movie. I was a little sad the movie was ending but mightily cheered to now know that you have a book I can read. Adios and may peace, love & fair winds be with you.

  52. Juanita

    The father’s boat building, boat everything skills are amazing. He is the background hero here. Yeah, amazing. My sister’s husband built their boat in Holland. Big boat. They’re sailing about now. Just left St. Martin’s, and working their way north to Bermuda in a few months. We’ll touch base in June. Glad to see them enjoying their years of labour. As for Laura – what a sailer, and Guppy – so beautiful to watch on the water. Wouldn’t have happened without dad’s and Laura’s hard labour. Lovely ketch.

  53. Elin

    Turns out Laura, her Dad and family were WRONG !!! Look for yourself …… HUNDREDS of People’s comments loving the Movie …… Jillian got it RIGHT ….. hopefully Laura has grown up enough now to understand it

  54. Wild Bill Turkey

    No, I get it. I watched the movie hoping to see a LOT more sailing, and the weather and hard work that go with it. I wanted to see a teenager managing all that by herself alone in serious blue water. What we got instead was one shot after some weather where she mentions how she had to change her sail plan and put up a storm jib, and then the rest of the movie was her doing selfies and arguing with that reporter. It made her look vain and boring, and I’m happy to read the reasons that her father gave for her dissatisfaction with the film. I like her better now.

  55. Ronsley Jacobs

    Laura typifies your normal teenager rebellion with a greater side of grownup endeavor and adult responsibility.What a good example and role model she set for all avid as well as aspiring sailors like myself.I also watched the film on Netflix and perhaps they could have made a three part series to incorporate most of the edited scenes which will shed the light on more of the technical side of sailing…Well done to mom and dad for supporting her.

  56. Jo

    I consider the movie a disaster…Laura came over as boring and self centred. There was no real sailing shown in the movie and one could almost doubt the veracity of the achievement if the movie was the only proof. It should have been titled ‘Sailing the Selfie’ . Brave and courageous Laura may be but I wouldn’t cross the street to meet her. Or the dreadful director.

  57. billy, you.re a jackass

    I consider the movie a disaster…Laura came over as boring and self centred. There was no real sailing shown in the movie and one could almost doubt the veracity of the achievement if the movie was the only proof. It should have been titled ‘Sailing the Selfie’ . Brave and courageous Laura may be but I wouldn’t cross the street to meet her. Or the dreadful director.

  58. Max

    Hi Laura,
    Me, and my 12 yr old daughter were amazed by the film and the journey, and were totally absorbed.
    I’ve had adventures in the past, but you’ve outstripped them all.
    Can’t imagine how I’d cope with the solitude, but in terms of living life outside of the rat race, your journey was inspirational.
    We both sail, so have a little appreciation, at least technically – but wow
    Good for you and your Dad in overcoming the nanny state as well
    😀

    Max (England)

  59. Yos Silalahi

    I don’t know when this blog was written. It is now May 2017 and I saw the movie last week. As some reviewers say: It is an amazing portrait of an amazing person. You can criticise any movie, but thanks to this movie we are able to get to know Laura and her trip. And it is a great trip. Good that the movie exists. And Laura 😉

  60. Captain Crayfish

    I’m a sailor who watched a young, seemingly fearless young lady face life and the world around her, watched her mature as the film went on and watched her become an independent and resourceful person. Yes I’ liked to have seen more of her trials and tribulations but it’s bloody hard holding a camera whilst reefing a sail in stormy conditions… Good on you Laura, and congrats to the editor that made it an interesting journey of an extraordinary young persons challenge

  61. Lee

    HERE W E G O AGAIN !!!
    AND!!! POOR PEOPLE!!!!
    ALL OF YOUR COMMENTS HERE!!!,
    NONE OF YOU CAN MAXIMUM R E A L I A S E !!!,
    NONE OF YOU AND MANY HUMANS LIKE YOU IDENTIFY COMMON SENSE, TRUTH AND LOGIC!!!, AS IF YOU HAVE NONE YOURSELVES!!!.
    PROGRAMMED SUBLIMINALLY?, YES!!! BUT IF YOUR DAUGHTER OR SON OR MOTHER OR FATHER OR FRIEND DROWN OUT IN THE OCEAN, YOU WILL, WILL,
    WILL, . . . THEN F. E. E. L THE AGONY FOREVER!!!
    NOTHING ON THE MOTHERS FEELINGS!!!, BUT ONLY THE UNFORTUNATLY STUPID UNWORTHY MALE PARENT!!!
    YOU ALL ARE ALL HERE INCAPABLE OF REALISATION!!!
    SHE’S : HEROIC?, BRAVE?, COURAGEOUS?, INTELLIGENT?, “CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE DEFINATE EVIDENCE OF HGH PROBABILITY LOSS OF HER LIFE BY MEGA % CHANCE!!!,, SHE WAS J U S T LUCKY SHE CAME BACK WITH LIFE!!!. I WILL NOT BE READING YOUR OBVIOUS EGO’S, STUBBORN, ILLOGICAL, USELESS OPINIONS!!!, FOR THE EMOS, TRUTH EVADERS ,SOPY SENSETIVES AND EMOTIONALS, THIS MESSAGE IS MEANT TO WAKE UP THE PROGRAMED, IF YOU CANT WAKE UP TO THIS, WATCH ON YOUTUBE :
    ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE PART 1., ZEITGEIST 1 & 2, EARTHLINGS 1 & 2 ALEX COLLIER 1990, PHILL SCHRIEDER,
    THIS IS INTENDED TO HELP SAVE OUR LOVED ONES FROM LIFE THREATNING SPORTS, I HOPE & PRAY THIS GETS POSTED!!!!

  62. John David Ray

    I think I understand how she may have felt. If a movie of what was your greatest achievement to date did not represent how it made you feel and clearly portray the experience I think she should make another. What I will say to Laura is you inspired me to purchase my first sailboat and set in motion a new way of life. I will carry her strength of will in my soul till the day I die. Call that what you may but I admire her greatly and can only hope to meet her someday.

  63. Curt

    I’d like to say to lee that you’re ignorant. I f everybody played it safe there’d be know adventure and nothing would have ever been discovered . I truly feel sorry for your kids if you have any. I’m sure you never let them leave the house except to go to school unless you home school. Poor kids probably can’t even play on a playground because they could be killed. What an idiot and small minded, you let to many people do your thinking for you. Please let your children grow up to think for themselves.

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