London, Nov 16 : A 16-year-old Brit boy has set sail from Portsmouth in an attempt to become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handed.
Michael Perham, who two years ago at the age of 14, became the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic, was determined to take on a bigger challenge.
He was waved off from Hertfordshire by scores of family, friends and other well-wishers as he began a gruelling four-month, 21,000-mile voyage.
"This is much harder," the Telegraph quoted him as saying before setting sail on his 50ft carbon-fibre racing yacht.
"The Atlantic was three or four weeks but this will be over four months and the boat is much bigger and harder to handle," he stated.
On his Atlantic trip, the teenager had his father Peter, 51, sailing behind him, but this time he will be on his own and psychologists have helped prepare him for the challenges ahead.
Perham revealed that he was nervous, excited and "a little crazy" to do what he was doing at his age, and that the toughest challenge was not any storms he might run into but "the fact that you are alone for so long, away from friends and family."
"People aren't made to be alone for months at a time. I love having fun - that's the hardest part for me. But you just have to stay positive," he said.
To make up for the lonely journey he has taken along with him "a few thousand songs" on his iPod and some coursework to keep himself occupied and also plenty of food to eat.
"I've got loads of chocolate - Dairy Milk, Toblerone, things like that are complete luxuries," he said.
"Your calorie intake goes right up because you need it.
"It's so nice to know you can eat it because you'll never put weight on sailing,"
Michael, who comes from a keen yachting family and has been sailing since the age of seven, will stay in touch with relatives and friends by satellite phone and email.