What is The Jester Challenge?

Ewen Southby-Tailyour once descibed it as ‘a modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self-sufficiency and personal responsibility’ whereby single-handed sailors pit them selves against the worst the Atlantic can throw at them to reach The Azores or North America.

Every two years a group of hardy sailors head for Plymouth to sail the Atlantic. The Challenge in 2018 will see them head off to Newport, Rhode Island. 2020 will likely see them head to The Azores, and in the intervening odd years several hardy sailors will head off to Baltimore in Ireland. That is about it. It is not a club. Each sailor takes responsibility for him or herself. There are no boat safety checks and no entry fees. As somebody once said, they are just a bunch of delightfully mad people who enjoy the self-sufficiency and the solitude of sailing.

Several skippers have indicated their intention to participate in 2018 Jester Challenge to Rhode Island. If you wish to participate, amend details or just want more information, please contact us.

Contact at Newport Yacht Club,
41o29’17”N, 71o18’45”W

All of you participating in the Jester Challenge 2018 feel free to use the Newport Yacht Club address and my name, Norman Bailey, as POC on your US Visa application.

Newport Yacht Club
110 Long Wharf
Newport, Rhode Island 02840

Cell 401.338.1153

If you are sailing with a SPOT (any other locator) please add me to your distribution list.
Please attempt to call or message me. You should receive cell signal south of Nantucket Shoals.
Regardless of the time, if I know your eta I will make every effort to rendezvous with you at Castle Hill Light and escort you to the Club.
The cost of clearing US Customs is $19USD (cash). US Customs will only clear you dockside.
The daily rate for dockage at the NYC is $2/foot (members rate has been offered for three days). Credit cards are accepted.
Please advise if you have any other questions.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Norman Bailey.

Useful Info

John Apps has written a nice guide to Approaching Newport together with some local information.

You can download free charts of the approaches to Newport from the NOAA site. But as long as you leave the three red buoys to starboard [IALA-B] entering Narangaset Bay and Castle Hill Lighthouse to starboard the next entrance to starboard is Newport Harbour, which doesn’t appear to have many unknowns other than the mass of boats moored in the middle of the harbour. There are rocks over to the East near the Ida Lewis Yacht Club but if memory served having anchored over there they are easy to avoid.

Getting past Nantucket shoals and between Martha’s Vineyard and Nomansland Ireland is a minor challenge but it is well buoyed and as long as you remember that you are in IALA-B territory not a problem. The fishing boats take some avoiding. As you approach Nantucket, you will come across the Great Ship Channel. It can be foggy  a SW wind crossing the Gulf Stream hits the cold Labrador Current. The Great Ship Chanel is as busy as the English Channel so use your fog horn and you should be OK. The ships do actually watch/listen out for you



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