Teenager's Ocean Crossing Makes a Big Splash

Michael Perham, 14, became the youngest person to complete a solo transatlantic crossing by sailing from Gibraltar to Antigua.

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Michael Perham sits on the bow of Cheeky Monkey, the 28-foot boat he recently sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.Www.sailmike.com [1] [1] Http://www.sailmike.com/mp.htm

A 14-year-old British boy became the youngest person to complete a solo transatlantic crossing when he sailed into Nelson's Dockyard on the Caribbean island of Antigua earlier today.

Michael Perham, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, began the 3,500-mile voyage in Gibraltar on November 18, 2006. He was inspired to take his journey after hearing about another British teenager, Seb Clover from the Isle of Wight, who was 15 when he made the crossing in 2003.

Perham's father Peter, an experienced sailor, followed his son's 28-foot boat, Cheeky Monkey, aboard his own vessel and stayed in VHF contact during the voyage. Along the way, Perham contended with big waves and hurricane-force winds and was forced to make two pit stops, one in the Canary Islands and one in Cape Verde, to carry out vital repairs.

A flotilla of welcoming boats escorted Perham to the dock in Antigua, where a steel band was performing in his honor. Overwhelmed by the reception he'd received, Perham told BBC News, "It feels absolutely fantastic being back on dry land, absolutely brilliant."

For more about Perham's crossing, click here.