JESTER CHALLENGE 2014
The first two finishers were presented on the upper deck of the yacht club by Commodore Stew Abramson and Past Commodore Norm Bailey.
His adventure began May 11th from Plymouth, UK and ended at 22:41 local time (June 20, 2014) at Castle Hill.
Dick Bowman and I had the pleasure of taking his finishing time.
After finishing, Dick and I escorted him into the NYC marina and secured his boat dockside. He was handed the traditional
bottle of Sam Adams (ice cold) for his immediate enjoyment. He also received a bottle of champagne which I suspect he is saving to enjoy
The traditional award of a City of Newport Sailing Medallion will be made to Paul in the lounge on hopefully on Sunday.
Paul wife Rosemary who be arriving from the UK later today will be on hand.
Please say hello to them as they will be at the Club for several days. They are lovely people.
ps.This was a very hard crossing for Paul but you would never know it by the wonderful smile on his face.
Newport, Rhode Island
Based on the maxim ‘seamanship not showmanship’ it was not the time for heroics but a calm assessment when best to face the Atlantic. At 1600 Andy Lane slipped and sailed, taking advantage of one of the increasing number of lulls while the others decided that a Monday morning (very early) start would give them a full day of light to get well beyond the Lizard. The forecast from Tuesday onwards offers a vast improvement in conditions.
The weather was not the only factor that failed to dampen the occasion. The skippers’ briefing went without a hitch, enhanced by Norm’s briefing of what to expect on arrival in Newport; however towards the end it was announced that both chefs in the Royal Western Yacht Club had, separately, been taken ill and that our dinner for 40 was in jeopardy….but, of course, it wasn’t. Thanks to the ingenuity of the club staff and the flexibility of Chandlers restaurant (also at the marina) all the uncooked food and two of the staff moved to the restaurant where a very cosy and convivial evening eventually ensued. Bravo Zulus all round!
There were no speeches but a toast to Blondie and ‘absent friends’ plus a second toast in honour of our supporting yacht clubs were drunk. Our guests included one past and the current Commodore of the Royal Western Yacht Club and the current Commodore of the Tamar River Sailing Club and their wives.
Another party, enjoyed by many, was held by Tony and Marsha Head in their fascinating Plymouth house. Another round of applause…!
Those in Plymouth for the start were:
Len Hiley in Scallywag
Basil Panakis in Jaba
Andy Lane in Gwezer
Paul Mead in Independence II of Charlsian
Howards Chiver in Sandpiper
Roger Fitzgerald in Ella Trout III
Two skippers were also present pending a late start:
Trevor Leek in Jester
Guy Waites in Betsy
Others planning a late start are:
Robin Morritt in Scouse Mouse
Egor Korzh in Lom
There are a number of others from whom I have not heard recently who may well be having difficulties reaching Plymouth against the strong westerlies over the last 10 days.
Sadly, one last-minute cancellation was JJ Lassalle in Gribou who suffered damage on his way to Plymouth. I know we will see JJ again.
Having studied the skippers and their vessels I have no doubt that everyone is more than capable of meeting this challenge. They are as ‘well-found’ a collection of yachts that I have seen since we began this whole venture.
Happy moons’l sailing to all, afloat and ashore but especially to those intrepid Jester Challenge skippers now heading for the New World and who knows what adventures on their way there and back. Bon voyage.
Further ‘Sitreps’ will be issued when there is something of interest or importance to say.
May 9th 2014 Waiting..............
Force 8 conditions, some will be delayed. They're serving "Black Velvet's" while we wait.
EDITORS NOTE: Black Velvet is a drink allegedly created by a Steward of Queen Victoria while the country was in mourning for Prince Albert (1861). The British had developed a liking for bubbly champagne and he created a drink of 4 ounces of champagne and slowly add 4 ounces of dark Stout.