Mike Perham

 Solo Circumnavigation
Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays
Record sailing start and finish - South of Lizard at
49 deg. 57 minutes North & 5 deg. 00 minutes West

November 18, 2008 - August 27, 2009 - (281 days)

About 30,000 nautical miles, 157 Sailing Days, 191.08 Miles per Day
No engine on board, 50.0' ft  LWL, 50.0' ft LOA
(Average 7.96 knots), 1.126

© Richard Konkolski


Mike Perham's dad Peter had been involved with sailing his whole life and as a result Mike have been sailing since he was very young. His dad was supportive of everything Mike wants to do and achieve. Mike’s family includes his father Peter, his mother Heather and his older sister Fiona. Michael’s family have strong maritime connections, with his father having been a merchant naval officer, his grandfather having served with the Royal Navy during World War 2, and his great grandfather as a Royal Marine in the Crimean war.

Mike started sailing at the age of seven. He has completed RYA courses in dinghy sailing and windsurfing. After sailing into Antigua in January 2007 at the age of fourteen Mike became the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic single-handed.

Mike attends the Oakland’s Sports Academy in St Albans, where he is studying for a National Diploma in Sports Performance and Excellence.  The college is supportive of Mike’s trip.  As he will be away, the college has redesigned his coursework to fit with the trip, and has organised some coursework for him to take on his journey.

Besides sailing, Mike likes all water sports including canoeing and wind surfing, as well as biking, mountaineering and camping, and skiing. To achieve his dream, Mike has chartered an Open 50 racing yacht, which he named TotallyMoney.com in honour of sponsor, TotallyMoney.com.  The yacht has spent six weeks being prepared for the trip in docks in France and the UK.


Timeline to Mike Perham's solo circumnavigation

09.09.08 - Southampton
Mike’s Open 50 sailing yacht officially named TotallyMoney.com at the Southampton Boat Show

15.11.08 - Portsmouth
Set out on solo circumnavigation from Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth

18.11.08 - Falmouth

Crosses line between Ushant, Northern France, and Lizard Point, Southern England, the traditional start and finish line for circumnavigations.

24.11.08 - Divert to Casais, Portugal
Repairs to autopilot expected to take less than a day.

25.11.08 departs Portugal 
Mike departs after making repairs to the autopilot equipment aboard his boat, Totallymoney.com.

01,12.08 - Las Palmas, Canaries
Mike arrived in Las Palmas to make a second attempt at repairing the autopilot.

28.12.08 - Las Palmas
Left Las Palmas after 27 days of repairs and testing autopilot. Will it work now?

23.1.09 - South Atlantic
A horrible groaning noise coming from one of the rudder shafts. They are moving around in the top bearing, only very slightly with about 2mm of movement. Decision made to call in to Cape Town to make repairs.

01.02.09 - Cape Town
Mike reaches Cape Town to be greeted by Dad and Zac Sunderland who is also bidding to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe.

14.02.09 - Oldest Meets Youngest
Cape Town sees the arrival of another circumnavigator . Seventy-five-year-old Minoru Saito is the oldest man to have sailed round the world; he's currently on his eighth solo circumnavigation, and this time he’s going the “wrong way round”. He's sailed almost half a million km, almost the distance from the earth to the moon! Zac has lunch with the legendary Japanese yachtsman - a real honor.

02.03.09 - Leave Cape Town
Mike heads out into the Southern Ocean after replacing rudder bearings

27.03.09 - Knockdown!
Totalmoney.com suffers knockdown in 50 knots and the 10m seas. Mike braced himself by putting his foot on the deck head (ceiling). TotallyMoney.com came back upright in a couple of seconds. This all happened close to mid-night local time. A bit shaken, Mike reported that the bilge water was now everywhere and had knocked out the electrics.

28.03.09 - 90 degree knock-down
Toughest conditions yet. Totalmoney.com knocked us down past 90degrees! In the main cabin a few bits and bobs had been thrown about off the shelves, it was a bit of a bombshell. One of my 20l diesel tanks had sprung a leak and oil covered the floor turning it into an ice rink.

03.04.09 - Hobart, Tasmania
1.30am Local time: Pull in to Hobart to repair rudders.

09.04.09 - Leave Hobart
Leave Tasmania, but leak in rudder bearings force Mike to turn back. 'Psychologically, this was a pretty hard thing to do; I never thought I'd be sailing back up this river again.'

19.04.09 - Unexpected Flight
Mike flies to Mooloolab near Brisbane to meet Jessica Watson, who is setting off later in the year to also sail around the world solo.

09.05.09: Depart Hobart
After waiting a month for new rudder bearings to arrive, Mike sets sail to go above New Zealand.

16.05.09 - Auckland, New Zealand
Further problems with the autopilot, force another stop to make repairs

27.05.09 - Leave Auckland
Autopilot now repaired once more

09.06.09 - Capsize in Southern Ocean
Mike reports: I was asleep. When I woke the boat was leaning right over on it's side, pinned right down to the water. My first thought was that this really is an odd angle, one I've never quite experienced before - not for more than a few seconds anyway. The boat was, quite literally right over on her side with the first set of spreaders about 1ft off the water.

13.06.09 - Cape Horn or Panama Canal?
Mike reports: 'I've decided to go for Panama Canal instead of Cape Horn. There’s quite a few reasons why I've made this decision. First of all, it is now winter in the Southern Ocean and with the reduced daylight hours and fiercer storms it doesn't look sensible. Yes, the weather is more predictable but I've been watching the weather around the area and there's been a good few depressions which I'm glad I haven't had to sail through. Secondly, I’ve come much further north than I originally expected to avoid a large depression after leaving New Zealand – So it now makes sense to continue on North and not drop all the way back down into the South.'

08.07.09 - Panama
Totalmoney.com reaches Panama and is escorted in by members of the Panama Sailing School.

16.07.09 - Congratulations Zac!
Zac Sutherland completes his solo circumnavigation. Mike Perham sends his congratulations.

24.07.09 - traverse Panama Canal
Disaster - After waiting a week for a tow through the Canal, Totalmoney.com became caught up in the bows of a tug ripping off guard wire and some of the stanchions. Another delay for more repair work!

28.07.09 - Cristobal, Panama
Mike sets sail on final Atlantic leg home to UK! Mike wrote: 'I'm finally on the last leg and it feels just great. I only have about 5,000 miles to go, so I am hoping to be home inside four weeks. I really can't wait, but I won't push the boat too hard, as I would not want anything to happen that might have been preventable.'

27.08.09 – 1 mile South of Lizard
Mike crossed the finish line at 09:47:30 seconds local time.



Repeated autopilot failures forced Mike to stop for repairs in Portugal, Gran Canaria and Cape Town. After finally overcoming those problems, Mike crossed the Southern Indian Ocean in March, celebrating his 17th birthday. He was forced to stop again in Tasmania and then Auckland after serious rudder problems.

In the Southern TotallyMoney.com was knocked down and damaged forcing Mike to make emergency repairs up the mast and pushing him much farther North than he originally intended.

The boat

Mike's team has chartered a 50 ft Open racing yacht, owned by the Escoffier family for the World Challenge trip.
The boat was named TotallyMoney.com at the 2008 Southampton Boat Show in September, in honour of one of Mike’s major sponsors.
The boat, formerly named the Etoile Australe and Cray Valley, has been raced in all sorts of conditions, and comes with a proven racing record of accomplishment.

TotallyMoney.com (ex Etoile Australe & Cray Valley)
Launched: 1996
Architect: Finot Conq

Technical specifications
Builder : USA
Designer : FINOT CONQ
Type : 50 ft Open
Year : 1996
LOA : 15,24 m
Beam : 4,95 m
Draft : 3,82 m
Engine : 18 HP YANMAR

Shell: Carbon epoxy
Bridge: E glass reinforced with carbon and polyester resin
Keel: Sailing carbon bulb lead
Mast: Carbon, 2-story bar arrow 21.5 m

Racing/sailing history
Nov 96 : Record Newport / Bermuda
Nov 96 : Record Newport / Bermuda
Jun 97 : 4th Europe Race
Jul 98 : 1st Atlantic Alone/ class 2
May 99 : 1rst Around Alone/ class 2
Jul 00 : 3rd Quebec-St Malo/ class 2
Nov 01 : 2th Transat Jacques/ class 2
Nov 02 : 1st Route du Rhum/ class2
Jun 04 : The transat
Nov 05 : 3rd Transat Jacques Vabre/ class 2
May 06 : Record SNSM
Jul 06 : 1st Skippers d'Islande ( 334 milles in 24 h)

The yacht has been equipped with the latest communication equipment to ensure that Mike can keep in contact with his family for the duration of his journey.  GPS tracking will ping a position back to base every single hour of the trip so that his supporters and family can follow his progress.


The Team

Peter Perham – Project Manager
Mike’s father Peter was the project manager for is trip. He has played a vital role in boat acquisition, fundraising, and sponsorship. He is an experienced sailor.  He started sailing at the age of nine in Cadet dinghies. He also accompanied Mike in a separate boat to allow him to become the youngest person (aged 14) ever to sail across the Atlantic single-handed in 2007.

Servane Escoffier – Boat Manager
Servane is a skilled sailor, having been involved in competitive racing since her teens. She has a accomplished racing history. Servane’s role in the Sail Mike team was to prepare the boat, and to ready Mike for his trip.

Fred Dahirel & Stan Delbarre– Prepateurs
Both experienced sailors, Fred and Stan’s role in the Sail Mike team was to prepare the boat for the trip and sailing with Mike in training sessions to get him ready for the journey. Both Fred and Stan are experienced sailors, having been involved in sailing for many years.

Mike Broughton – Weather Router
Mike is an experienced weather router, having enjoyed an extensive career working with professional elite sailing teams on a variety of events and races. He is also an accomplished sailor himself. Mike’s role within the Sail Mike team was to provide Mike with weather forecasting and routing advice during his trip.

© Richard Konkolski

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