Youngest round-the-world solo sailor loves life as an adventurer

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 September, 2009, 12:00am


British teenager Mike Perham, who set a world record last month as the youngest person to sail solo around the world, paid a short visit to the city with his father, Peter, and gave a talk on his adventure at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club on Wednesday night.

The 17-year-old set off on his non-stop circumnavigation from Portsmouth, England, in his 50ft yacht last November. The journey, originally planned to take 41/2 months, ended up taking the young sailor more than nine months.

'The journey was full of ups and downs. There were times when I felt like I was on top of the world but there were also times when I was alone, wondering, 'What on earth am I doing?' Perham, currently studying sports performance in London, said: 'Sailing alone, you're at one with nature, it's amazing.'

Perham was introduced to sailing at the age of seven by his father, who works in the boating business. The youngster first made Guinness World Records as the youngest person to sail the Atlantic Ocean, aged 15.

But there's more to Perham than water-related activities. 'I'm a fan of bowling. I went bowling earlier today and I played ping-pong with the locals at a park yesterday,' Perham said. 'I'm like an average 17-year-old. I've got homework to do, and I meet up with friends, hang out and laugh with them all the time. I don't just love sailing, I love adventures. What I want to do in life is to be an adventurer. If I can keep doing what I've been doing in the past few years, that would be a dream.' And what will be his next adventure? 'My next trip is the Bounty Boat Expedition. It'll be a bunch of us on a small wooden boat,' Perham said, referring to next year's reenactment of Captain Bligh's epic voyage from Tonga to Timor in 1789 after the Bounty mutineers left him adrift in an open boat.