Youngest round revisited

A few years down the track and it might be time to look at the intrepid young five again. Any change to the view of whether or not they should or should not have been allowed to go?


zac sunderland

Abby’s brother, he started the ball rolling with this youth sail-around-the-world thing and did it with many stops but he’s a sailor all right.


Zac is doing this and that, he was also honoured. Nice to see the Laura Dekker congrats on his blog as well as Abby’s – nice to see people in one part of the world, even rivals, keeping an eye on others in another part of the world.

Toffee-nosed “authority” which set itself up to judge these things wouldn’t recognize his voyage although they “congratulated’ him.   he should be in the records!



English sailor and adventurer from Potters Bar who in 2007 years became at the age of 14 the youngest person in the world to successfully sail across the Atlantic Ocean single-handedly, and in 2009 at the age of 17 the youngest person to sail around the world solo. Perham’s second record surpassed that of Zac Sunderland, an older 17 year old American, set only six weeks earlier.


His boat was also a bit powerful, big boat for a kid to handle but he did it.

He flew out to Australia following Jessica’s RTW and had a love affair with her but it didn’t go far.   I was disappointed with Jessica – sure she can pick and choose whom she wants but it seemed her globetrotting lifestyle just wasn’t going to let her get anywhere with Mike.

Of all of them, he and Abby are the ones I like the best – nice kids.   And wasn’t that pic below here spectacular?   Here’s Mike’s blog.   He’s getting ready to fly around the world next.

Mike Perham claims youngest solo circumnavigation record

News is that Mike sails in regattas and is keeping on keeping on.



Sparkman and Stephens 34 is a fabulous boat for the job, at the upper limits for a girl but safe and well behaved was Ella’s Pink Lady.   Support team second to none, Australian media right behind her and therefore the nation on the whole.

The girl can certainly sail.   Even with all that support, there were always those moments, as Abby found [below], when one is on one’s own.

Yes, it was safe enough – as much as these things ever are.  Some said that a 16 year old does not have the awareness of danger in a real form and I can vouch for that in my adventures on water at that age – but perhaps that’s a good thing, otherwise one over-rationalizes [see previous post today].

Jessica’s since gone on to national person of the year, book deals and all sorts of action.  Good luck to her.  How pedantic of the toffy-nosed records “authority” not to recognize her too.   Last I heard, she had a busy round of engagements downunder and had thrown over Mike Perham [see below] and taken up with the son of the youngest politician in the Australian parliament.

Say what you like about her – she can sail and this post is about sailing.




Nice girl as you can see from her last post on Laura Dekker but this was a disaster waiting to happen.  She parroted her Dad and team that the boat, the Open 40 Wild Eyes, was designed for Australian Bight conditions:

Sunderland’s yacht Wild Eyes was a 40-foot (12.19 m) sloop built in 2001 by A.S.A. Yachts PTY, Australia, designed by Jutson Yacht specifically for sailing single-handed through the Southern Ocean.

No it wasn’t.  At least, it might have been for a full crew but not for a mid-teenage girl on her own – that was way too much boat.  Yes, she managed to get round Capes Horn and Good Hope, a major achievement and as she says, “It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or whatever age you are when a rogue wave comes.”

Yes, that’s fair but what one does after disaster is the thing.  No matter, it’s done and dusted.

Her boat was also reliant, as the Americans always are, on electronic systems.  Naturally, they broke down.  Plus the engine had issues.   Wrong time, wrong boat, the girl a bit naive, underprepared.   Support crew culpable, in denial, she didn’t use her energy budget well.

She was a kid.

No real news on her now – just being a late teenager again – book sold, blog not maintained all that well, as with Jessica.   She was asked if she’d try it again and said yes but not exactly the same way.

I always wonder if they recovered the boat – there was no news on it.




A real sailing animal – the girl can certainly handle a boat and her 34 footer is just a tad too big but she’d getting bigger and stronger – not too big for conditions though.   She and Jessica are true yachties,    Abby was the kid sis of a yachtie and she wanted her turn.

Boat Guppy is nice, ketches are good cruising boats and the Jeanneau Ginn Fizz is one of the better ones.   Laura’s poor on the PR and the sponsors weren’t impressed, nor the media – strange girl in some ways but what would you expect with her life story?   On the other hand, she and Mike are the only ones to keep their blogs relatively up to date and so you can keep following their adventures, should you wish.

So the news is that she’s still at sea, so to speak, when she’s not flying somewhere in the world.   One wonders where the money comes from for her lifestyle.   It’s all very well saying you only want to travel on the boat and see the world but 1 – it costs and 2 – there’s a thing called education.   I know, I know – university of life etc.

Boat’s proved itself over and over.


Future?   These sorts of things require special characters, which Jessica and Laura are, Mike Perham is.  Zac and Abby can sail fine but they’re a bit normal in some ways for these sorts of adventures on a continuing basis.

1 comment for “Youngest round revisited

  1. Kryten
    August 13, 2013 at 21:38

    Its really great to see young folk achieving significant personal goals – make you have some hope for the future.

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