Mike Perham completes record-setting around-the-world sailing voyage
Mike Perham this morning sailed his 50-foot racing yacht into British waters and, after a nine-month voyage, became the youngest person to have circled the planet alone in a sailboat.
“I’ve made it, I’ve made my dream come true and it feels amazing," he told the Times of London.
Perham, 17, breaks a record set six weeks ago by Zac Sunderland of Thousand Oaks. Sunderland still holds the distinction of being the first person to accomplish the feat before turning 18.
Like Sunderland, Perham overcame angry seas, gale-force winds and severe technical difficulties that resulted in long delays in exotic ports.
Like Sunderland, Perham left when he was 16 and turned 17 in the Indian Ocean. Perham owns the record because he's a few months younger than Sunderland.
However, three younger sailors are aspiring to claim the record -- all girls.
Laura Dekker, 13, wants to embark on a two-year expedition, but social workers in the Netherlands, where she lives with her single father, have taken legal action to try to stop her and are trying to make her a ward of the court.
Jessica Watson, 16, of Australia is in sea trials for a late-September launch in a 34-foot vessel named Pink Lady. Abby Sunderland, Zac's sister, also is in sea trials and hopes to launch in November. Abby turns 16 in October. Watson and Sunderland will attempt nonstop, unassisted voyages.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Mike Perham holds flares as he celebrates arriving at the finish, off Lizard Point in Cornwall, England. Credit: Associated Press