An Open Letter

Dear supporters, sponsors, followers, friends, family, helpers, loved ones and well wishers,

It is with great regret and humility that I have to succumb to the frank realisation that when it came to the challenge of sailing solo around the world, I was not strong enough for it. My respect for those elite 300 people who have achieved this feat is ever more heightened and their example inspires me ever more.

Having sailed half-way to Gibraltar, my decision to not pursue the journey further was made after considering all the factors but principally the grave consequences of continuing without the certainty that I would be able to look after both the vessel and myself sufficiently well in all weathers, and additionally the realisation that such a duration away from those I love comes at a higher price than I foresaw and one that I am unable to pay.

I am hugely grateful to all those who helped me over the past couple of years in getting both Coralee and me to the ‘start line’; without your support, kindness, and encouragement, this dream would not have ever begun to materialise. Your generosity of time, knowledge, and company through the cold winters and hot summers working on Coralee is not under appreciated and please also know that while your efforts really helped drive me forwards, the decision to continue or not, always had to be made by me in the cold reality of the ocean – which I feel I have done fairly.

I approached this task openly as ‘an attempt’ and never wanted to have financial or commercial pressures placed on me that might force me into an unsafe position and one of poor seamanship. That said, I sincerely apologise to all the firms who helped put me in a place where a circumnavigation was even an option and for not continuing to repay your support with the breadth and duration of media coverage that I would have liked to.

My heartfelt apologies to the two charities that I was hoping to raise £150,000 in support of. While building up to this journey, people were generous enough to raise over £70,000 and I would like all those people to be reassured that the funds have all been gratefully received in full by the charities and that the money is making a real difference to both causes. I’m saddened that I will not be able to raise anything further for these two charities but will continue to offer my support to them both whenever I can.

For those questioning if I have made the right decision, like you I will never know, as I can live-out just the one decision, but on balance, it feels correct. Without the certainty that I am not putting myself in undue risk, I should not continue and it is in that mind that I have chosen to stop.

Please know that in terms of the sailing, to continue on the journey would have been the easier decision. By turning back, I turned into wind and knowingly, directly into a F6-7 back across the Biscay, this extended my time to landfall by a few hundred miles and a couple of days. Each and every day on the six-day voyage back to Falmouth, up the NE Atlantic, I continually revisited my decision, taking stock each day and even with that, and the freedom to revert to ‘Plan A’ at any time, I continued home.

I will update you on future plans shortly.

Sincerest regards,
John

With unbelievable thanks to:
Banners & Mash
Barton Marine Equipment
Brompton Bicycles
CopperCoat
English Braids
GE Wedge
Hayling Yacht Company
Hood Sails UK
Hydrovane
Navionics
Predict Wind
Premier, Pendennis, and Falmouth Haven Marinas
Raymarine