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Chancellor's pupil sets world record

Record-breaking mariner Michael Perham - image courtesy of Michael Perham
Record-breaking mariner Michael Perham

A Chancellor’s student has become the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic single-handed after arriving in the Caribbean following a 3,500-mile voyage from Gibraltar.

14-year-old Michael Perham from Potters Bar entered the record books when he arrived in Antigua after a six-week journey.

Michael set off in his 28ft boat ‘Cheeky Monkey’ on November 18.

His father, Peter, travelled two miles behind in another boat and kept in regular radio contact.

Michael kept a record of his trip on his voyage website,, including details of how he’d celebrated Christmas by putting a collision warning flare on an orange.

“It became probably the brightest Christingle the world has ever seen,” he wrote in his ship’s online log.

Back in Brookmans Park, Michael’s head teacher, Stuart Phillips, was full of praise for his record-breaking pupil.

“For a 14-year-old to do what he has done shows a great deal about his own self-confidence, self-esteem and his resilience.

“He has had to deal with solitude and has had to deal with mechanical issues. It is actually a fabulous thing to have done.”

In a live TV link up with Channel Four news Michael said the six-weeks alone on the Atlantic wasn’t a problem.

“You are always busy on the boat, to tell you the truth, whether you are eating, sleeping, or just keeping the boat going as nicely and fast as possible.”

He did admit to missing his friends and family and said he can’t wait to get home to see them all.

You can discuss Michael's achievement in a discussion thread running in this site's forum.

More coverage on BBC News Online.

January 3, 2007

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