Sailing an Open 50 Racing sloop British sailor Mike Perham has crossed the finish line culminating his circumnavigation of the world. Mike sailed into British waters between Lizard Point and Ushant, France ending 9 months at sea.
Mike would normally now be expected to take the place of David Dicks, existing mentioned Guinness book of records holder who had already been beaten by Zac Sunderland (actually disqualified for a Christmas break I think) six weeks earlier prior to Mike making it home. I guess the guys at Guinness will be pretty busy figuring it all out. David Dicks is of course still competing today in races such as the 2008 Sydney Hobart set sail on 26th Feb 1996 and 264 days, 16 hours and 49 minutes he later had the world record. Now I would say it will move over to Mike Perham.
Mike started the trip when he was 16 battled high seas and equipment failure but never gave up. He has made it around the 30,000 Mile course in record time on his Open 50 boat Totallymoney.com and become the youngest sailor in the world to do so.
Mike, who started sailing when he was seven year old is not new to record breaking. Back in 2003 he took the record for youngest crossing the Atlantic single handed. On this trip the dedication of his father becomes clear as we know he sailed at the same time in a similiar yacht. Not to help. Just to keep an eye out.
To welcome Mike home the Royal British navy sent out HMS Mersey and 771 Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose sent out a chopper to wave from the sky. When given the chance to comment Mike had this to say “I can’t believe that the Royal Navy has sent HMS Mersey and a helicopter to witness my crossing the line. I feel very honoured.”
These magnificent stories of record breaking young sailors make me so proud of sailors and the sport of sailing. Of course I will not be able to make any youngest at anything records. Way past that. However considering the time it is taking to get my own ocean racing Open 40 footer I may well be able to challenge Saito-san as oldest to circumnavigate.
It was great to see Mike thank his parents, friends and sponsors at the end of this epic Odyssey.
What an incredible lad. Well done son.