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Introduction   The Jester Baltimore Challenge 2015 is a shorter distance event compared to the well-established Jester Challenge and Jester Azores Challenge with their unique, gentlemanly, small boat ethos.  Nevertheless, sailing in the vicinity of the Isles of Scilly, across the Celtic Sea and near the south-west corner of Ireland presents testing challenges for small, single-handed yachts.  The intention is to provide an opportunity during a normal summer leave allowance for old Jester Challenge hands to get together and for new hands to cut their teeth in preparation for longer distance Jester Challenges. As always, the event is being coordinated on a low-key, minimal cost basis.  Although, in keeping with all Jester Challenges, this challenge does not have ‘rules’ there are a number of guidelines and notes (published below) to assist participants prepare for the event.

Non-rules and Sailing Instructions:

  1. The unique gentlemanly/gentlewomanly spirit and small boat ethos of the Jester Challenge are to be paramount throughout this event.
  2. The Jester Baltimore Challenge 2015 will be to sail single-handed from Plymouth, United Kingdom (or Pwllheli - see below) to Baltimore, Republic of Ireland, (ROI) leaving Draystone Ledge Buoy, Wolf Rock, Bishop Rock and the Fastnet Rock to starboard, a distance of about 250nm. The Jester Baltimore Challenge will start on Sunday 14 June at a time to be decided from a line extending for 1 nm west of Plymouth breakwater. An alternative start on the same day (for those coming from, say, the west of Scotland, Northern Ireland or north Wales) will be from Pwllheli, leaving St Tudwells port hand lateral mark, Bardsey Island, Tusker Rock, Coningbeg Light and Fastnet Rock all to starboard, a distance also of about 250nm. At Pwllheli there will be a PSC Committee Boat at the start and, after rounding the windward mark, yachts will follow the course above.
  3. The Jester Baltimore Challenge will be completed by entering Baltimore Haven, when the line between Barrack Point light on the western side of the entrance and Loo Rock buoy on the eastern side of the entrance is crossed.  Participants should record the date and time and inform the coordinator as soon as is practicable.
  4. The Jester Baltimore Challenge is open to sailing boats (single or multihull) with a hull length not exceeding 30ft (9.13m) and not less than 20ft (6 m).
  5. Skippers must be aged 18 or over at the start of the challenge.
  6. Engines may be used for battery charging but must not to be used for propulsion.  If they are used to avoid a ‘mayday’ or ‘pan-pan’ situation then this should be reported to the coordinator on arrival at Baltimore.           
  7. Stops are permitted.  Sailing must recommence at the position where sailing ceased before the stop.
  8. Muscle power (rowing, sculling etc) may be used for propulsion.
  9. The decision to participate in the Jester Baltimore Challenge will be entirely the responsibility of the skipper who will (as with the other Jester Challenges) be required to sign a form of indemnity accepting his full duty of care for himself, his dependents and fellow seafarers during the challenge.
  10. Participating boats should have insurance for third party risks.
  11. Prospective participants in the challenge should send their intention to enter to the coordinator, Ewen Southby-Tailyour, at  Newcomers should include brief details of the skipper’s sailing experience and description of yacht.
  12. Entries close at 1200 BST on Saturday 6 June 2015.  Unlike other Jester Challenges that are ‘based’ at Queen Anne’s Battery this is because our host for the Jester Baltimore Challenge is the  Tamar River Sailing Club (TRSC).  This is a small, ‘private’ club with its own moorings and pontoon and thus the Flag Officers will need to know numbers well in advance for catering and berthing purposes.  The TRSC is on the east bank of the Tamar River, two cables or so south of the Brunel railway bridge.
  13. A skippers’ briefing will be held at 1200 BST Friday 12 June at the TRSC; details to follow.



  1. The Tamar River Sailing Club (TRSC) has kindly agreed to host the Jester Baltimore Challengers before the start of the event.  Free or modest cost moorings will be available and it is hoped to get all boats alongside a pontoon connected to shore for the last 48 hours before setting off.  A limited water taxi service may be available but Jester Baltimore Challengers must be prepared to use their own tenders; these will be needed in Baltimore as well.  The bar and food will be available.  A skippers’ supper and a last breakfast will be held; details will be announced in due course.
  2. Alternatively, Jester Baltimore Challengers may use any of the marinas and other mooring facilities in the port of Plymouth but must attend the skippers’ briefing at TRSC.
  3. The Baltimore Sailing Club has kindly agreed to host Jester Challengers on arrival in Baltimore.
  4. Some limited alongside facilities exist and priority for berthing will be given to new arrivals, but all Jester Baltimore Challengers must be prepared to anchor and use a tender to get ashore.  A Jester Challengers’ dinner with Irish music will be arranged in Baltimore.
  5. Baltimore will be holding a Pirate Festival during our visit Challengers are encouraged to bring pirate flags and similar piratical paraphernalia to join in the fun.
  6. It should be noted that Baltimore harbour is relatively shallow.  Deep-draft, racy-style yachts may be at a disadvantage for berthing or when anchoring.
  7. It is the responsibility of Jester Baltimore Challengers to arrange appropriate visas if required for entry into the UK and ROI.
  8. It is hoped that participants’ tracks will be displayed on Ocean Race Track, see
  9. Jester Baltimore Challengers should be meticulous in complying with international rules for the Traffic Separation Schemes around the Isles of Scilly and in the vicinity of the Fastnet.  This is especially pertinent in 2015 in view of recent high profile infringements by sailing vessels in UK waters, and the large fines imposed.
  10. It is most strongly recommended that participants complete a single handed passage in the yacht proposed to be used for the challenge of at least 100nm non-stop, including overnight at sea, prior to this Jester Baltimore Challenge.
  11. There will be no inspections of yachts.  It is entirely the responsibility of the skipper to satisfy himself that his yacht is of a suitable type for the expected conditions, is equipped     with appropriate safety and emergency equipment and, in all respects, is prepared for the challenge.
  12. Participants are encouraged to register their yachts under the UK coastguard Safety Identification Scheme CG66.  This is easily achieved on-line.
  13. Yachts marginally longer than 30ft may be allowed to participate providing the entry is entirely in accord with the spirit and ethos of the Jester Challenge and depending on a vote of the other   skippers.

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