A 16-year-old Dutch girl has become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe in a solo trip - unofficially.
Laura Dekker sailed into St Martin on Saturday after setting off almost 12 months ago in a story which could encourage people to take a day skipper course
The previous unofficial world record was set by Jessica Watson in 2001. The Australian teenager was on the cusp of turning 17 when she completed her voyage around the world.
However, despite the hard work and determination involved, Dekker won't be recognised officially for breaking a world record. Guinness called time on officiating on youngest sailor records when the Dutch teenager announced plans to break the small boat record when she was just 13.
Images of the Caribbean island have been splashed across newspapers and TV news bulletins in the days since Dekker docked, and more people could be looking to take St Martin sailing holidays
as a result.
Hundreds of well-wishers gathered on the harbour to welcome Dekker as she entered the final minutes and seconds of her voyage. Among them were her parents Dick and Babs, who welcomed her with open arms as she stepped off her vessel.
Dekker said: "There were moments where I was like, 'What the hell am I doing out here?,' but I never wanted to stop.
"It's a dream, and I wanted to do it."
Her achievements have captivated young people across the globe, potentially attracting a whole new generation of fans to yachting. Among them was 10-year-old Jody Bell, who was in St Martin with her mother's work.
She said: "Her story is just amazing. I can't imagine someone her age going out on sea all by herself."
Jody's mother Deena Merlen said: "My daughter and I have been following Laura's story, and we think it's amazing and inspiring."
During her trip Dekker got to see a whale for the first time while sailing on the Indian Ocean. She said that it splashed water all over her yacht when it dived. In all, she sailed 27,000 nautical miles, stopping at the Canary Islands, Panama, the Galapagos Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Bora Bora and Australia along the way.
The people of St Martin are used to the yachting world casting its eye upon them. The St Martin Heineken Regatta
will get under way this March, with three days of solid sailing and partying attracting global crowds. If you want to be among those watching some first-class yacht racing
at this year's event you can call Sunsail on 0844 463 6817 to find out more. The regatta runs from March 1 to 4.