Sailing schoolboy's round world record on Channel 4

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham, 17, will tonight reveal the problems he faced while helming an Open 50, alone 30,000 miles around the world, becoming the youngest yachtsman so to do.

His first major interview was with Yachting Monthly (see YM January 2009) when he revealed his Christianity was an important part of his life. YM also revealed how he was psycho-analysed by a sports professional psychologist on the orders of his father Peter, 50, who did not want to waste any money investing in a son who would turn back.

Young Mike did not turn back although he had to tailor his aspirations after the boat’s self-steering system kept letting him down. For the circumnavigation was originally to have been non-stop . In the event eh was forced to call in at Portugal, the Canaries, Cape Town, and Auckland. Because of these delays he was left facing the Southern Ocean in winter.

This, in turn meant he could not risk rounding Cape Horn and so his record – by not rounding the five great capes – was a muted one and also one which might not stand for long: other teenagers are after it and even an older teen will have a place in the record books if he or she do make the five capes circuit.

But none of this has blighted Mike’s winsome qualities. And don’t forget as you watch on Channel 4 at 9.00 pm that he is still not old enough to enjoy a beer to celebrate.. not that it stopped him downing lager at ports en route as his father told YM.