Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Saturday, 29 August 2009 15:29 UK

Hero's welcome for young sailor


Mike Perham was met by his family as he arrived home

Teenage sailor Mike Perham received a hero's welcome when he returned back to the UK after becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the world.

The 17-year-old arrived to cheers from hundreds of people who gathered at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, where he set off from in November last year.

Mike, from Potters Bar, Herts, crossed the finish line between Lizard Point and Ushant, France, on Thursday.

As he arrived back, he said: "It's incredible. Absolutely incredible."

He added: "I'm going to go bigger and better. I'm already thinking of lots of other different adventures, not necessarily on the water because there's a whole world out there to see."

Mike Perham
Mike's journey took him 30,000 miles around the world

During the 30,000-mile voyage he battled gales and 50ft waves in a voyage which took him via Portugal, the Canaries, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Mike had to travel via the Panama Canal after missing the weather window to sail around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America.

He was joined by parents Heather and Peter and sister Fiona when he set foot back on dry land.

Mr Perham, who joined his son on board the Open 50 racing yacht on Thursday, said: "Hopefully he has inspired many young people to go and live life to the full.

"His catchphrase is live the dream and that's what he has been doing."

Technical problems

Mike set off aiming to complete the challenge non-stop, but several technical problems halted the voyage, meaning his world record is the youngest solo circumnavigation with assistance.

He was 16 when he set off from Portsmouth and celebrated his 17th birthday in the South Indian Ocean on March 16.

A representative from Guinness World Records presented him with a certificate confirming his record.

To satisfy the requirements of the world record, the solo circumnavigation has to cross the equator and every line of longitude.

Jesse Martin, of Australia, is recognised by Guinness World Records as the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe, sailing solo, non-stop and unsupported, aged 18 years 104 days when he set off from Melbourne on December 8, 1998, taking 327 days 12hrs 52 mins.

Map of Mike Perham's journey

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