Youngest round-the-world sailor is back... and very hungry for steak and chips

Being an island nation, Britain has a long and proud maritime tradition - and none of us lives more than 50 miles from the sea.

Great sailors such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Martin Frobisher, Horatio Nelson, King William IV (known as "The Sailor King"), James Cook, Thomas Hardy, William Bligh, Sir John Franklin and John Jellicoe, who commanded the Grand Fleet at the 1916 Battle of Jutland, a massive Royal Navy fleet of about 150 ships which took on the German Navy in the biggest naval battle in history.

Even the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, served in the Royal Navy during the War.

There were also the great ships of the Royal Navy - the Mary Rose, the Golden Hind, the Ark Royal, the Victory, the mighty Dreadnought, the Iron Duke, the Beagle (which Darwin sailed on around the world), the Hood, the Bounty, the Invincible and the Conqueror which, to this day, is the only nuclear-powered submarine in the world to have sunk an enemy ship when it hit the Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War with two Mark 8 torpedoes (but that's what happens when some despotic little dictator decides to invade British territory).

Now that proud naval tradition has another glorious chapter added to it, thanks to a teenage boy.

17-year-old Mike Perham returned to Britain yesterday after becoming the youngest person ever to sail single-handed around the world.

He arrived in Portmouth harbour whilst waving a couple of lit flares, a tradition undertaken by sailors after successfully performing a great feat.

A large crowd waving Union Flags and letting of horns welcomed his arrival.

Although there to welcome him home was his mother, father, older sister and girlfriend.

Then he announced what he would like to do next - eat a large steak!

The youngster travelled 39,000 kms, tackled 50ft waves, gale-force winds from Hurricane Bill and constant loneliness to complete his journey on his 50ft yacht Total Money.

A 13-year-old Dutch girl already wants to break Mike's record, but the Dutch authorities may not let her go due to her young age.

Youngest round-the-world sailor is back... and very hungry for steak and chips

By Mail On Sunday Reporter
30th August 2009
Daily Mail

You beauty: Mike celebrates arriving at the finish, off the Lizard in Cornwall

He rules the waves: The young sailor is escorted across the finish line by HMS Mersey

Mike Perham celebrates his record as he returns to Britain

A sea of flags and the roar of horns greeted Mike Perham yesterday when he arrived at Portsmouth after becoming the youngest person to sail single-handed round the globe.

The 17-year-old had an emotional meeting with his parents, Heather and Peter, 19-year-old sister Fiona and girlfriend Beckie Knight, 16.

Then he announced what he had his sights on next.

Nautical smiles: Mike celebrated with his mother, Heather, when he arrived at Portsmouth after sailing single-handed around the globe

‘Steak, pate on toast, the lot,’ said the teenager from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, who had spent nine months travelling more than 30,000 miles aboard the 50ft yacht Total Money.

His diet for that time had been dried food. ‘I didn’t have a toaster, an oven or even a fridge on board so right now I am itching for a huge feast with my family and my friends.’

Proud: Mike Perham's girlfriend, Beckie Knight, waited for his return to dry land

Beckie gave him a hug and said: ‘I’m not sure where we’ll go on our first date but he deserves a good meal.’

Mike celebrated his 17th birthday on his own in the middle of the Southern Indian Ocean in March.

He tackled 50ft waves, gale-force winds from Hurricane Bill and constant loneliness to complete his journey.

What an achievement: The British teenager became the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world assisted

Mike said: ‘There were times when I feared for my life but in those situations it is just about short-term goals and trying to make it through until tomorrow.’

His proud mother Heather said: ‘We kept in contact but I still missed him terribly and was always particularly worried whenever he had to climb the mast.’

Mike also had words of encouragement for 13-year-old Laura Dekker, his rival for his newly-achieved world record who was put under state care in Holland on Friday to stop her trying to attempt to sail solo around the world.

He said: ‘People said I shouldn’t have sailed across the Atlantic at 14 but I achieved that. It is important for people to chase their dreams.’

Mike Perham's route took him nine months to complete and he covered nearly 40,000km

Mike with his parents Peter and Heather. His father joined the boat as it crossed the finish line

Young hero: The crowded cabin where Mike spent 156 days steering a course around the world

Mike celebrates crossing the Equator on January 9 during his record attempt to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world
Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 30th, 2009 at 12:23 PM..
wow, that`s just amazing lol
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