Sail trials on autopilot successful

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham, 16, whose bid to sail solo, and non-stop around the world has been dogged with autopilot problems looks set to have another go.

He left Falmouth on 18 November and after a brief stopover at Cascais, Portugal has been languishing in Las Palmas Gran Canaria while his autopilot has been fixed and fixed again.

The youngster from Potters Bar, Herts, said last night: ‘Yesterday afternoon I took the boat out, then sailed all through the night and into this morning and HOORAY, the auto pilot performed perfectly. I was planning on leaving today but the Marina Office had just closed when I got there and will not re-open until tomorrow morning. Las Palmas seems to have a hold on me.

‘The weather is not as favourable as it has been. But hey, I just want to get out there doing what I set out to do. The winds will be a bit light to start with, but should improve the further south I get. It will be early to bed for me this evening so that I will get a good nights rest before I set off.’