John Apps completes the Jester Challenge with a "Double Singlehanded Transatlantic"
As reported previously, association member John Apps sadly had to retire in the Azores from the Jester Challenge in 2006. He did not formally complete the race, so set off again in 2007. After a gruelling voyage - and in true 'Jester Spirit' - he finished the Jester Challenge 2006 arriving in Newport RI on 18th July 2007. He is the third skipper to finish.
"Well we made it. I passed the Castle Hill Light at 1350[UTC] on 18 July 2007. 410 days, 2 hours and 50 minutes since the start of JC06. I think this might make me third on the podium."
"Except for the last 200 miles when I had next to no wind I seemed to go from low to low with only a day in between. Even where the routing chart indicated that the wind should never exceed F7, I was encountering F9s. I was knocked down twice in three hours trying to sail under bare poles in a F10 NE. The first knock down was disastrous as I had just taken my top stormboard out to check on everything, when I was knocked down - ending up with about 2 feet of water in the cabin. I also lost my wind indicator, broke the babystay, flattened my spray hood and ended up with a raincatcher radar reflector looking like a flower as it bent out of shape. Except for the missing wind indicator everything was more or less repairable"
"About 100 miles out of Newport I encountered very dense sea fog and unfortunately no wind for a day and a half. I was caught in something called the Great South Ship's Channel just south of Nantucket. Every hour or so I could hear a ship's fog horn going past. I was replying on my foghorn, but it sounded very puny in relation to the ships' blasts. Still I think my two radar reflectors are fairly effective."
John then spent a few days in Newport before heading straight back to the UK's East Coast. When asked by another association member whether he had a good summer cruise, John responded "I just popped over to Newport to finish the Jester Challenge" - modesty indeed.