Flintshire sailor John will take to the sea again as he takes on Jester Challenge

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AN ADVENTUROUS mariner who spent seven years sailing around the world is setting off on another mammoth trip.

John Margarson, originally from Queensferry, is embarking on a solo 30-day 3,000 mile trip across the Atlantic Ocean in the world-famous Jester Challenge boat race.

The 60-year old accountant with a passion for the sea now lives in Thorpe Bay, Southend-on-Sea with wife of 20 years Isabel, whom he met in Brazil while on his round-the-world trip.

He set off in 1980 from Connah’s Quay in a self-built boat and was welcomed back seven years later by a huge crowd.

He said: “It was fantastic. I built the boat in the back garden in Queensferry.

“I had an accident three hours out and the Hoylake lifeboat had to come and get me, so that slowed me down a bit.

“I was apprehensive, it was the first ocean sailing I had done.”

With more than 30 years sailing experience John, who has lived on the Cook Islands and ran a sailing school in Australia, will prove a tough challenge for the other 84 competitors when they set sail for Newport, Rhode Island near New York from Plymouth on Sunday.

His yacht, Fluffy, is fitted with top-of-the-range global positioning technology to make sure he keeps on course, with supermarket Lidl supplying him with provisions.

John said: “Everything depends on how fast the other boats are, but I have a fast boat and people expect a lot from me,” he said.

His father, John Margarson Snr, 86, of Queensferry, said: “He got his love of sailing from the River Dee.

“He built his own boat when he was 12 and went out sailing. I was terrified. I like sailing, but not as much as he does. I think what he has done is amazing.”

You can track John’s progress via Thorpe Bay Yacht Club’s website at www.tbyc.org.

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