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  #1  
Old 11-19-2008
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Young Man, Big Challenge

It's worth noting that Mike Perham has started his circumnavigation. He's sixteen, like Zac Sunderland, but his prep for the trip is significantly different:

SailMike - Mike Perham - World Challenge

Teenager attempts to become youngest round-the-world yachtsman - Telegraph

The four month trip will cost around Ł200,000, but Mike crossed the Atlantic on Cheeky Monkey when he was 14, and that must have helped in the fund raising area. This trip, however, doesn't have a chase boat. His boat is a 50 foot open-- we saw it at the Southampton Boat Show.

Zac appears to be working on damage on his boat, and may or may not make it out of Mauritius before cyclone season sets in:

Zac's Blog
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Last edited by Jim H; 11-19-2008 at 04:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2008
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Personally, I'm not all that impressed with Mike, compared to Zac. Mike's father is chartering the 50' racing sled, and he's got a French sailor coaching him and prepping the boat. Zac bought his boat himself, and prepped himself doing deliveries and sailing.

I think that Mike is going to have a rude awakening if anything breaks on that 50' boat of his... I doubt he'll be as successful at jury rigging it as Zac has been.
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  #3  
Old 11-19-2008
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I wish them both well. At that age to attempt something of that magnitude is amazing. To Mike's credit he is trying to go non-stop solo. Zac is cruising round the world solo with stops. Both take a lot of determnation. I know I couldn't do it.

Maybe if Mike gets the right winds he'll catch the Vendee Globe racers and have some company, since they're almost at a dead stop in the doldrums. There's a few stragglers that just started out again after returning to do some repairs.

Last edited by scottbr; 11-20-2008 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 11-20-2008
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Checking on Mike's position vs. the Vendee Globe race, Mike is only 1 day behind the 26th place boat.
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Old 11-20-2008
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I've kept up with both Mike and Zac and I must say Zac's undertaking does more for me. For all the reasons stated above. Zac is more the everyday guy compared to Mike. Don't get me wrong, I would love to take off in a $1 mil. yacht to sail around the world, but Zac's boat is more within all our reaches.

Zac's age is the defining factor in his quest. Equipment clearly is the defining factor in Mike's quest.

Anyone know what the rules are to be the "youngest"? Zac started out at a younger age, but do the length of his trip will be older when he completes it. Mike started out older, but if all goes well he will finish at a younger age.
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Old 11-20-2008
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I just noticed the up-to-date blog on Mike's website:

SailMike » Blog

For a 16 year-old, he writes like an experienced sailor. In the accounts of sailing the Vendee Globe, it seems like half of the stress comes from trying to keep the boat at the highest possible speed for the entire race. In Mike's case, he can be disappointed if he's not at peak speed, but on the other hand he doesn't have to be.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2008
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Contrast this, from Mike's website:

Quote:
Peter Perham – Project Manager Peter is Mike’s father, and is the project manager for the World Challenge trip. He has played a vital role in the process, leading all the behind-the-scenes work on the project, including boat acquisition, fundraising, and sponsorship. Peter is an experienced sailor, having started sailing at the age of nine in Cadet dinghies at Broxbourne sailing club. 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 member of the well-known sailing family, the Escoffiers. She is a skilled sailor, having been competition racing since her teens. She has a accomplished racing history, having taken part in the Mumm 30 Circuit and Tour de France, and has also enjoyed success as part of her all-female match racing crew. Servane has also found success in the offshore has racing scene. Servane’s role in the Sail Mike team is to prepare the boat, and ready Mike for his trip. She has extensive experience racing the TotallyMoney.com, ex Etolie Australe & Cray Valley, and is an invaluable training resource for Mike in the lead-up to the trip.

Fred Dahirel & Stan Delbarre– Prepateurs Both experienced sailors, Fred and Stan’s role in the Sail Mike team is to prepare the boat for the trip. This involves taking the boat out frequently for handling testing 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. Between them they have sailed around the world five times.

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, having won many titles across various world-wide events. Mike’s role within the Sail Mike team is to provide Mike with weather forecasting and routing advice during his trip.
With this, from Zac's website:

Quote:
Zac, how did you make your dream come true and how do you endure, even under criticism?

When I first came to my parents with the idea of sailing around the world we just discussed if it was even possible. They thought it was, and we set about trying to find a boat. Nobody was going to sponsor a boat for me as a young unknown so I went to YachtWorld.com and began to search for a boat. The type of boat I needed was way out of my price range. My dad was asking around the marina about boats for sale and heard of my current boat which was then called Nantucket Sleigh Ride. I was able to buy the boat with money I had saved repairing and selling sailing dinghies in the summers. I sent out about 100 Sponsorship Proposals to marine companies and received a pretty poor response. I just kept sending letters and calling people and working with my dad. Pretty soon I had a lot of equipment sponsors and people from all over the marina were getting involved with the project. I guess the point is to have a dream, pursue it and don't give up. It helps to have your parents behind you like I do. If you really believe in what you are doing, you just accept that people will criticize you. Answer your critics but then keep going.

How could you let your 16-year-old son do such a dangerous thing and be so alone?

Although Zac is alone as he sails, he really has so much help. Besides all the best safety and communication equipment with which he can contact anyone anytime, he has the support and advice from a community of long time sailors (who, by the way are extremely supportive of what Zac is doing). We also have a meteorologist/router to keep an eye on weather and help to route him where he will be safe. I would not recommend that any 16-year-old do this trip. Zac has had so much experience already at sea and is the type of person who needs a challenge. It is a good fit for him. He is smart, strong, level headed and is able to figure things out, which is quite obvious from reading his blogs. There will always be people who will disagree with our decision to let Zac go on this trip. It was his idea and it is his desire to continue. He knows we are as proud as can be that he has set this goal and achieved so much. If he chose to stop tomorrow, we would welcome him home with open arms.
One bought and prepped the boat he's using mostly using his own resources... the other had three people hired full-time to prep him and his boat...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #8  
Old 11-20-2008
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Doesn't anyone join the Navy any more??
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
One bought and prepped the boat he's using mostly using his own resources... the other had three people hired full-time to prep him and his boat...
I think you're over-doing it a bit here. I don't see the need to make one of the trips seem "better" than the other.

For one thing, after reading about those who have done the Vendee Globe, it's pretty clear that the fund-raising needed for a trip of this magnitude is amazing. A lot of good sailors don't make it to the start line because they can't pull together the teams and funding. In itself, it's a lot of work to achieve that level of organization. Many find themselves pretty destroyed right up to the morning of the race with the complexities of it all.

Also, there's always plenty of advice on Sailnet about being prepared and having the right boat for the trip you're going to do. Mike is doing a solo trip around both horns in the Southern Ocean. Should he have a 1972 boat for that trip? Shouldn't he have the best help possible to prepare for weather, course, sailing technique for that challenge, if it's possible?

Anyway, credit to him and to Zac. Even the Vendee Globe boats break and have to turn back, so if even if he doesn't achieve a perfect trip I will admit that I admire his preparation. (It's also cool to follow his real-time position data, although I wonder why his course is heading inland at the moment.)
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Last edited by Jim H; 11-21-2008 at 04:50 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2008
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Hear-hear, Jim. Enough of the class-envy thing. It's sailing.
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