Perham, 17, sets sailing record

Updated: August 27, 2009, 9:39 AM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- A 17-year-old British sailor became the youngest person to sail around the world without assistance on Thursday, completing the solo trip in nine months.

Mike Perham grabbed the solo record after completing the 28,000-mile trip, crossing the finish line in Cornwall, in southern England. He is now sailing to Portsmouth for a celebration on Saturday.

During the grueling journey, Perham said he tackled 50-foot waves, gale-force winds and technical problems.

"It's definitely the hardest part of the trip being on your own because there is no one there to help you, and you do miss the physical contact," he told the BBC.

Perham's team says he finished the trip in a 50-foot racing yacht at approximately 9.55 a.m. local time. The teen set off in November 2008.

Perham is a few months younger than Zac Sunderland, a 17-year-old from Thousand Oaks, Calif. He had grabbed the youngest solo crown in July, when he completed a similar trip in 13 months.

To mark Thursday's achievement, the Guinness Book of World Records created a new category for Perham -- youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe unsupported.

Guinness' closest record to Perham's -- youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe unsupported and without stopping -- is now held by Jesse Martin of Melbourne, Australia. He completed the trip when he was 18 years and 104 days old.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press