Luncheon for champions

The two rival teenagers hoping to take the ‘youngest, solo, round-the-world’ sailing title, have been given food for thought by meeting the world’s oldest sailing circumnavigator!

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham, 16, and Zac Sunderland, 17, have met the oldest Minoru Saito,75, in Cape Town.

Mike said: ‘He’s currently on his eighth solo circumnavigation, and this time he’s going the “wrong way round”. He’s sailed almost half a millon km, almost the distance from the earth to the moon! Zac and I had lunch with him, which was a real honour. I find it so amazing a coincidence that we’ve all crossed paths at the same place at the same time.

‘He’s here to repair his auto pilot and hopes to be off early next week. I could tell he was dead happy to be tucking into some great food in the restaurant at the Royal Cape Yacht Club – but I could tell he wanted to get away sooner rather than later. I thought to myself “I know that feeling” as he started making calls to many different suppliers so that work could begin as soon as possible.

‘’s mast is almost finished; all we have to do now is reattach every bit of carbon back, run all string back on it and put it back on the boat! Total credit goes to Southern Spars who have put a huge amount of time and effort into the rig: thanks guys!

‘The rudder is almost back on and all the other final touches are almost all done. We’ve booked the crane now for first thing on Tuesday morning as the weather’s going to be quite awful until then. Once the girl’s in the water and the rig is tuned, I’ll do some test sailing, something I can’t wait to do, as the conditions around here really make for fantastic sailing at times.’

more here