With the excitement of the America’s Cup fading from memory the next big event in the sailing calendar is just beginning, the Jester Challenge 2021!
Although slightly less well known, and definitely operated on a smaller budget, the Jester Challenge has become a firm favourite amongst adventurous solo sailors looking for an excuse to head off into the blue on more modest yachts (usually under 30ft), all in the spirit of Blondie Hasler and his folkboat Jester!
Once described by Ewen Southby-Tailyour (founder of the Jester Challenge) as ‘a modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self-sufficiency and personal responsibility’ where single-handed sailors pit themselves against the worst the Atlantic can throw at them to reach The Azores or North America, depending on the year. More information on the event, together with a fleet tracker, can be found at the following link:
This year our colleague Duncan Lougee is taking part in ‘Minke’, his Varne Folkboat, a GRP version of the original folkboat design. Although a bit smaller at 25ft than most of us might choose for sailing the Atlantic, the Varne is very much in the spirit of the Jester Challenge, and was built here on the East coast in Maldon on the River Blackwater. Spotted shortly before the start preparing earnestly for his upcoming challenge, we hope you will join us in wishing him the best for his trip, and welcome him back later this year: