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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 (45,000-kilometer) 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 (15 meter) 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 said he finished the trip in a 50-foot (15-meter) racing yacht Totallymoney.com at approximately 9.55 a.m. The teen set off in November 2008.
Perham is a few months younger than Zac Sunderland, a 17 year old from Thousand Oaks, California, who 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 solo, supported.
His father, Peter, sailed in a boat behind him, but did not offer assistance — which Guinness defines as being accompanied on the boat by another human being, said Amarilis Espinoza, a spokeswoman for the record book.
“I’ve made it, I’ve made my dream come true, and it feels amazing,” the teen said. “A big, big thanks to my dad, mum, all the sponsors and everyone who has helped me along the way.”
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.