Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Steering frustrates young sailor

Michael Perham
Michael Perham, 16, set out from Portsmouth to sail around the world

Technical problems forced a 16-year-old sailor to abandon a bid to sail around the world without stopping but he has set his sights on another record.

Michael Perham, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, aims to be the youngest to sail the globe single-handed.

His auto-pilot system has forced stops in Portugal and Gran Canaria since leaving Portsmouth on 15 November.

He said he was "frustrated" but added he still wanted to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo.

He hoped to beat Australian Jesse Martin's record as the youngest non-stop circumnavigator.

'Big risk'

Jesse was 18 when he arrived home in Melbourne on 31 October 1999.

Michael said: "I've had to be really careful sailing the boat as, whenever the auto-pilot malfunctions, there is a big risk of bringing down the mast.

"I've only been able to sail for 10 days out of 30. It's just so frustrating."

He said he hoped to set off again in the next few days after testing repairs to the auto-pilot system.

He already has one record up his sleeve - he became the youngest person to cross the Atlantic when he was just 14.

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