Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

Maidentrip 2013

Directed by Jillian Schlesinger

“This inspirational true story vibrantly captures the personality of its determined Dutch protagonist, 16-year-old Laura Dekker, who holds the title as the youngest person to sail around the world solo.” — Variety

USA In Dutch and English with English subtitles
81 minutes Blu-ray

In collaboration with Laura Dekker


Jillian Schlesinger
Emily McAllister


Hillary Spera

Additional photography

Laura Dekker
Kacey Klonsky
Mike Ruel


Penelope Falk


Ben Sollee


Laura Dekker


SXSW 2013

After battling with Dutch officials and a vociferous public for her right to do so, last year, at 16, Laura Dekker became the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. She gave herself two years for the excursion, visiting French Polynesia, north Australia, the Galapagos Islands and South Africa en route. Jill Schlesinger’s admiring, nicely rounded portrait draws extensively on Dekker’s own footage recording life aboard her yacht Guppy. Dekker chats to camera about her state of mind, captures some of the wonders of the sea and barely hints at its terrors. Schlesinger meets the intrepid sailor on land where we see her practical self-sufficiency, her easy bonding with other ocean wanderers and her forthright rejection of media attention and the trappings of celebrity. The film also draws on a rich, informative archive of family videos. Dekker’s parents were once seafarers too and she tells us along the way how tempted she is to detour to New Zealand where she was born, spent her earliest years on a yacht, and can often be found now.