Seven skippers have crossed the Plymouth start line of the Jester Challenge 2018 and will now race to Newport

Seven solo skippers now have their bows firmly pointed in the direction of Newport, Rhode Island as the Jester Challenge 2018 gets underway.

Described as ‘a modern experiment in old-fashioned self-reliance, self-sufficiency and personal responsibility’ by organiser Ewen Southby-Tailyour, the race has no time limit and embodies the Corinthian spirit of one of the original sailing greats, Blondie Hasler.

The 2018 competitors crossed the start line off the western end of the Plymouth Breakwater at 12 noon on 7 May in near ideal conditions – a warm sun and lightish southerly winds.

The Jester Challenge, which is held biannually for yachts under 30ft, has no entrance fee or rules.

The skippers, who take responsibility for themselves, just need common sense and good seamanship.

Follow the racers’ progress on the Jester Challenge website.

2018 Jester Challenge Skippers

Tim Luke, Medusa, 34ft Vancouver, UK

Doug Pingel, Jekeeda 2, 33ft Westerly with bilge keel, UK

Chris Jackson, Sixpence, 29ft 11″ Albin Ballard, UK

Howard Chivers, Sandpiper, 29ft Sadler with bilge keel, UK

Len Hiley, Emu, 27ft Hurley, UK

John Apps, Raven, 29ft Rival, Australia

Steve Hickey, Newlyn Magic, 26ft Wharram Tiki, UK