The Jester Challenge, a quirky solo event for small boat sailors, is to have a 'starter' race

My favourite sailing event of them all has just produced a baby version. The Jester Baltimore Challenge is the latest idea of Ewen Southby-Tailyour, organiser of the cult Jester Challenge, the solo transatlantic challenge for yachts of 30ft and under. This fascinating small boat event has unearthed some of the most interesting sailors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and is quirky in the extreme.

The Jester Baltimore Challenge will take yachts across the Celtic Sea to Baltimore in south-west Ireland and its purpose, says Southby-Tailyour, to encourage new sailors to have a taste of solo voyaging in preparation for the longer distance events to the Azores and US.

It will be will be run on the same principles as the transatlantic event. “It is co-ordinated on a a low-key minimal cost basis,” he says and will share its “unique gentlemanly small boat ethos.” One of those is no formal rules or entry fees, though there are guidelines for the event and there will be a choice of starts in Plymouth and Pwllheli in Wales.

The Challenge starts on 16 June and from Plymouth the distance to Baltimore, one of the nearest harbours to the Fastnet Rock, is 250 miles.

See for more information.

For a taste of the Jester Challenge sailors and the unique atmosphere of the race, see my blog on the last Jester Challenge here