The Jester Challenge 2006


New member
10 Mar 2005

The first single-handed trans-Atlantic Jester Challenge for yachts under 30 feet LOA will start at the end of May 2006 from a line off Plymouth and finish at Newport, Rhode Island. The Jester Challenge will be held every four years thereafter: there are no entrance fees, inspections, time-keepers or (formal) prizes.

The object of The Jester Challenge is to further the spirit of long distance, single-handed sailing in small boats, purely for sport and the camaraderie of other competitors. It will also pay tribute to 'Blondie' Hasler, the originator of the Single-handed trans-Atlantic Race, inventor of the servo-pendulum self-steering gear and designer of Jester. This 25 foot Folkboat-style, junk-rigged yacht has competed in every OSTAR since the first in 1960 but from which she has now been disenfranchised due to her size.

The second Jester Challenge will take place in 2010 on the 50th anniversary of the first race in 1960 when five yachts started and five finished: four of these were under 26 feet. It is expected that in 2006 at least two of the original competing yachts - and possible all five - will take part for it is hoped to invite Gypsy Moth III. Jester herself is the first confirmed entrant.

There are just two rules and one recommendation:

Competing boats must be 30ft LOA or below (unless invited by a majority of the other skippers)

It will be the responsibility of the skipper/owner to ensure that his/her vessel is covered by third-party insurance up to £2 million and

It is recommended that competitors sail a single-handed, open sea passage of 500 miles before the start in the vessel in which they intend taking up The Jester Challenge.

This is not a Race in the accepted meaning of the word and thus The Jester Challenge is, emphatically, not in competition with the Royal Western Yacht Club's OSTAR: a race for larger yachts and held in different years.

The Jester Challenge exists on the understanding that everyone has the right to sail across the Atlantic single-handed and 'in company' without submitting themselves to rules and regulations other than common sense, good seamanship and the established COLREGS: thus there are no sponsors, no organisers, no committees, no one responsible for collective or individual safety and no one has a duty of care to the competitors other than the skippers to themselves. Skippers will, individually, be expected to inform the appropriate authorities of their intended passage as they might - or might not - for any other lengthy or oceanic cruise.

For further information about The Jester Challenge please email the co-ordinator through If anyone knows the whereabouts of Cardinal Vertue, would they also e-mail the co-ordinator.


23 Aug 2001
Good luck with your challenge it seems to be exactly the self sufficent philosophy that the marjority of us apply to our sailing.


Active member
16 May 2001
i like the idea (though a little less keen on the upper size limit). i have raced against jester in the OSTAR back in the 70's before the great french racing machine took over. it does seem unfortunate that the 'corinthian challenge' has wimped out and ruled out smaller boats.

i can understand you wanting to keep it all informal, if only to avoid liability for mishaps, but do you yet have a start/finish point? who will start the race and where will you meet beforehand?

don't know how familiar you are with forums like these but here's a few hints on getting your message across-

a lot of small businesses try to post adverts in the guise of informative messages. they give themselves away by - posting the same thing on all the forums at once, giving the absolute minimum information in the user profile and it's usually their first (and often last) posting.

from the content of your message it doesn't look as though you're one of those but at least let's see a bit more info about yourself.
12 Feb 2005
Grey Havens Marina - Elves pontoon
A fair wind with your efforts!

This recalls the 'No 1 Mark Orr Ocean Racing Rule', bandied about a few years ago. It goes something like this....

"We all start from here, at a time we choose, and we sail to there. The first to arrive goes into the bar, and buys himself a drink.

The second to arrive goes into the bar, and buys two drinks - one for himself, and one for the other guy.

The third to arrive goes into the bar, and buys three drinks - one for himself, and one for each of the other guys.

....and so on.

Tales are told, boasts boasted - and a rare ould party gets under way.

No prizes, no presentations, no speeches.... but maybe, just maybe, some memorable singing."