Mike Perham world challenge
Sail Mike

The world's youngest round the world yachtsman

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Mike Perham became the youngest person ever to sail round the world on Thursday 27th of August 2009 as he crossed the line between Lizard Point and Ushant in France at 09:47:30

Mike returned to a hero’s welcome at Gunwharf quays, Portsmouth, the starting point of his adventure. Thousands lined the dockside and Mike’s return and record was covered by press from all round the world.

This record of Mike’s adventure will remain live on the web for the foreseeable future.

Mike announced his next Adventure on the 8th of September: An attempt to recreate the incredible voyage of the bounty boat crew. This is a 4,000-mile re-enactment 221 years after Capt William Bligh and his supporting crew were forced into an open-boat by the mutineering crew on HMS Bounty and successfully sailed from Tonga to Timor in the Pacific.

To keep up with Mike's current activites and plans, please visit his website www.challangemike.com

Highlights of Mike’s round the world record voyage

On 18th November 2008, 16-year-old Mike Perham set out to become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed in his yacht, TotallyMoney.com. Mike battled on as TotallyMoney.com was knocked over, battered and damaged. His planned four month, non-stop circumnavigation became a 9 month odyssey full of technical and navigational challenges.

Repeated autopilot failures put Mike’s record attempt at risk, forcing him to stop for repairs in Portugal, Gran Canaria and Cape Town. After finally overcoming those problems, Mike crossed the Southern Indian Ocean in March, celebrating his 17th birthday enroute, but was forced to stop again in Tasmania and then Aukland after serious rudder problems emerged.

Horrendous weather in the Southern Ocean saw Mike surfing down 50 foot waves in 50 knot winds at speeds up to 28 knots. TotallyMoney.com was knocked down and damaged forcing Mike to make emergency repairs up the mast and pushing him much farther North than he originally intended.

Opponents of the attempt questioned whether anyone with so little experience, let alone a minor, should be allowed to make such an attempt. Much less, thanks to the delays, at a time of year when the weather is so inhospitable, but Mike pushed on and proved his critics wrong.

Mike recorded the voyage in his blog and with video diaries which have become an inspiration to thousands – just a few of the many highlights are below

Date / Title Timeline to Mike Perham's solo circumnavigation
03.01.07 - Antigua Mike Perham becomes the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic Ocean - aged 14
09.09.08 - Southampton Mike’s Open 50 sailing yacht officially named TotallyMoney.com at the Southampton Boat Show
15.11.08 - Portsmouth Set out on solo circumnavigation from Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth
18.11.08 - Falmouth Mike Perham crosses line between Ushant, Northern France, and Lizard Point, Southern England, the traditional start and finish line for circumnavigations.
21.11.08 - First problems with auto-pilot The Auto-pilot keeps resetting itself. Twice today. I've been lucky in that I've been wide awake and ready to jump straight to the helm before she goes into a nasty gybe.
24.11.08 - Divert to Casais, Portugal Repairs to autopilot expected to take less than a day.
25.11.08 departs Portugal    Mike departs after making repairs to the autopilot equipment aboard his boat, Totallymoney.com.
27.11.08 - Doldrums Problems with autopilot continue. Mike raging, as were the guys ashore who felt just as helpless. Disconnected everything and reconnected it, and spent ages reconfiguring the rudder alignment – all for nothing. 'I've set myself the challenge to complete this journey and I will. No matter what problems I face, I will see it through.' Mike writes in log
01,12.08 - Las Palmas, Canaries 10:45 UTC: Mike arrived in Las Palmas to make a second attempt at repairing the autopilot.
28.12.08 - Las Palmas Left Las Palmas after 27 days of repairs and testing autopilot. Will it work now?
09.01.09 - Equator 01.30 UTC: Mike cracks open a bottle of champagne to celebrate first major goal! '...Bring on the Cape of Good Hope!'
23.1.09 - South Atlantic A horrible groaning noise coming from one of the rudder shafts. They are moving around in the top bearing, only very slightly with about 2mm of movement. Decision made to call in to Cape Town to make repairs.
01.02.09 - Cape Town Mike reaches Cape Town to be greet by Dad and Zac Sunderland who is also bidding to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe.
14.02.09 - Oldest Meets Youngest Cape Town sees the arrival of another circumnavigator . Seventy-five-year-old Minoru Saito is the oldest man to have sailed round the world; he's currently on his eighth solo circumnavigation, and this time he’s going the “wrong way round”. He's sailed almsot half a millon km, almost the distance from the earth to the moon! Zac has lunch with the legendary Japanese yachtsman - a real honour.
02.03.09 - Leave Cape Town 08:00 UTC: Mike heads out into the Southern Ocean after replacing rudder bearings
16.03.09 T - South Indian Ocean Mike celebrates his 17th birthday
18.03.09 - South Indian Ocean I’ve had a brilliant 24hours on board with some of the best sailing conditions this trip so far rocketing northeast. I've come up this way to dodge a high-pressure ridge coming off the tail of the front that rushed through earlier today. This fast and explosive low pressure has now swept under me at the pretty spectacular speed of about 50-60knots, giving me winds up to 35knots which makes for very good boat speeds.
22.03.09 Seal Sighting Half way to Australia. Mike spots a seal just ten metres from boat
25.03.09 - Cape Leeuwin Mike passes south of Cape Leeuwin, W, Australia - 'an important milestone as it ticks off another one of the five capes which he must pass on his route around the world'.
27.03.09 - Knockdown! Totalmoney.com suffers knockdown in 50 knots and the 10m seas. Mike braced himself by putting his foot on the deck head (ceiling). TotallyMoney.com came back upright in a couple of seconds. This all happened close to mid-night local time. He was plunged into darkness but quickly located one of his emergency torches. A bit shaken, Mike reported that the bilge water was now everywhere and had knocked out the electrics.
28.03.09 - 90 degree knock-down Toughest conditions yet. Totalmoney.com knocked us down past 90degrees! In the main cabin a few bits and bobs had been thrown about off the shelves, it was a bit of a bombshell. One of my 20l diesel tanks had sprung a leak and oil covered the floor turning it into an ice rink. So much for my nice and tidy cabin!
29.03.09 - Southern Ocean Mike forced to climb the mast to fix the lazy jackstays that had snapped during the last knock down.
03.04.09 - Hobart, Tasmania 1.30am Local time: Pull in to Hobart to repair rudders.
09.04.09 - Leave Hobart Leave Tasmania, but leak in rudder bearings force Mike to turn back. 'Psychologically, this was a pretty hard thing to do; I never thought I'd be sailing back up this river again.'
19.04.09 - Unexpected Flight Mike flies to Mooloolab near Brisbane to meet Jessica Watson, who is setting off later in the year to also sail around the world solo. Check out her website www.youngestround.com.
09.05.09: Depart Hobart After waiting a month for new rudder bearings to arrive, Mike sets sail to go above New Zealand.
11.05.09 - Pacific Ocean. 20knots+ - 'I was sitting in the cuddy, watching the world go by, when a strong gust of 38knots picked us up and we shot off down a wave at over 20knots. The bow started to dig in, we lost a bit of speed and next thing I know I’m watching the water rushing up the deck towards the cockpit and it filled it right up! I lifted my boots in the air to keep them dry, as I was sitting on the bean-bag and two seconds later the cockpit was empty once more. Our surfing resumed as if nothing had happened.'
16.05.09 - Auckland, New Zealand Further problems with the autopilot, force another stop to make repairs
27.05.09 - Leave Auckland Autopilot now repaired once more
01.06.09 - Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! Mike reports: '24knots! This is what happens... The surf begins, Totallymoney.com edges forward at 14knots as we begin our descent down a wave. I feel the boat accelerateon the face of this huge, roaring wave of pure power.. I feel Totallymoney.com lift up onto an incredible plane with only the back third of the boat in the water. Speed increases, 15,16,17knots. It's dark and I wonder what's going to happen when we hit the bottom of the wave travelling so fast. The speed climbs faster and faster, 19, 21, 24knots! I see the wave ahead approaching and brace myself for the deceleration. But Totallymoney.com just ploughs straight into this wall of water, sending waves and spray cascading across the deck and over the coach-roof 20ft in the air. I grab on to the handholds to prevent myself being washed backwards and…then this whole excilarating experience starts again!' It's hard to believe just how fast I’m actually going and have to remind myself sometimes that I’m sailing the equivalent of a surfboard down some rather large waves.
02.06.09 - Crossing the Int. Dateline I've now passed over the dateline so goodbye tomorrow and hello today! It doesn't make much difference here but from from now on, the time difference is going to get easier and easier to cope with. It’s often a pain being twelve hours away from those back home!
09.06.09 - Capsize in Southern Ocean Mike reports: I was asleep. When I woke the boat was leaning right over on it's side, pinned right down to the water. My first thought was that this really is an odd angle, one I've never quite experienced before - not for more than a few seconds anyway. The boat was, quite literally right over on her side with the first set of spreaders about 1ft off the water.
13.06.09 - Cape Horn or Panama Canal? MIke reports: 'I've decided to go for Panama Canal instead of Cape Horn. There’s quite a few reasons why I've made this decision. First of all, it is now winter in the Southern Ocean and with the reduced daylight hours and fiercer storms it doesn't look sensible. Yes, the weather is more predictable but I've been watching the weather around the area and there's been a good few depressions which I'm glad I haven't had to sail through. Secondly, I’ve come much further north than I originally expected to avoid a large depression after leaving New Zealand – So it now makes sense to continue on North and not drop all the way back down into the South.' So long as MIke continues to sail across every meridian of longitude, crosses the equator and returns to his starting point, he should become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed (assisted - because he has stopped and accepted help) and therefore, also the youngest circumnavigator.
15.06.09 - An unexpected swim! The spinnaker sheet (control line) became jammed between the skeg and rudder, forcing Mike to swim down and cut it free. He wrote: 'I could see it was being pinched by the rudder and so I wasn't surprised that my earlier attempts had been useless. I took a few deep breaths before diving underneath Totallymoney.com and spent thirty seconds at a time trying to cut the rope away. Finally the lines were free. My lovely nice sheet with it's special anti chafe cover was now in pieces and totally useless, but hey, at last I had the steering back!'
20.06.09 - Sails rip apart! Mike wrote: 'I was furling the genoa when I noticed this tiny 2inch hole 2feet from the foot of the sail. I immediately bore away to get the genoa as sheltered as possible behind the mainsail. But then I heard a ripping noise - in just two seconds, a rip had run from the foot almost all the way up to the head. My heart was in my mouth. I could barely utter the words "Oh bummer," seeing this once beautiful sail, that had taken me so far, now in shreds.'
25.06.09 - Across the Equator Mike wrote: 'I toasted Neptune with a bottle of champagne. My gift to him was my day’s ration of chocolate. I also gave him some champagne provided by Pick & Pay in Cape Town. The next bottle is set aside for my arrival home!'
27.06.09 - Sighting of a ship since New Zealand Mike wrote: 'I haven't seen a single boat since leaving Auckland. I haven't even had one up on my AIS since then and that's got a serious range, picking up ships 100miles away before.'
07.07.09 - Rubbish Mike observed: 'I've just sailed passed a few lumps of wood with lone birds sitting on them, watching the world go by. The amount of debris and junk has steadily increased as I near Panama. It’s really disappointing to see loads of plastic rubbish floating about. The ocean really is full of junk in places. Apart from several mooring buoys I’ve also had a close encounter with a huge 10inch towing rope stretching further than I could see, in the middle of the Southern Ocean, thousands of miles from anywhere. I've seen countless random plastic bottles and small bits of rubbish just floating about in all sorts of places around the world.'
08.07.09 - Panama 14:30 UTC: Totalmoney.com reaches Panama and is escorted in by members of the Panama Sailing School.
16.07.09 - Congratulations Zac! Zac Sutherland completes his solo circumnavigation. Mike Perham sends his congratulations.
24.07.09 - traverse Panama Canal Disaster - After waiting a week for a tow through the Canal, Totalmoney.com became caught up in the bows of a tug ripping off guard wire and some of the stanchions. Another delay for more repair work!
28.07.09 - Cristobal, Panama Mike sets sail on final Atlantic leg home to UK! Mike wrote: 'I'm finally on the last leg and it feels just great. I only have about 5,000 miles to go, so I am hoping to be home inside four weeks. I really can't wait, but I won't push the boat too hard, as I would not want anything to happen that might have been preventable.'
27.08.09 - Finish Line Mike Perham crosses the finish line to become the youngest person to sail around the world.
30.08.09 - Hero’s welcome Mike returns to a hero’s welcome, Portsmouth, UK

For daily updates:
Visit www.totallymoney.com/sailmike

For media information and interviews with Mike Perham or his parents:
Barry Pickthall PPL Ltd +44 (0)7768 395719 Visit barry@pplmedia.com

For high resolution images:
PPL Photo Agency +44 (0)1243 555561 Visit ppl@mistral.co.uk

Or visit www.pplmedia.com to browse and download images.