Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Basil Panakis

Jester Challenge and Beyond

Pages: 136 Ratings:
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If you have ever dreamed of sailing a small boat a long distance on a low budget, then this is the book for you. Nor should age be a barrier, as 73-year-old Basil Panakis proves in his exciting voyages with the Jester Challenge, single-handed sailing event.


In this up-beat narrative, Basil explains how he chose his boat (which has to be under 30ft to qualify) and how he equipped her for deep-ocean passages. Starting from Plymouth in the UK, Basil’s Jester landfalls have included The Azores three times and beyond that, Madeira, Canaries, Cape Verde, Caribbean.


He talks about the equipment needed, all sourced on the tight budget of a pensioner and the simple upgrades he made to his 25ft fibreglass sloop Jaba. He also covers the weather routing and provisioning involved for a long-distance voyage and recounts the ideas and camaraderie he received from other Jester Challengers.


Ewen Southby-Tailyour, the organiser of the Jester Challenge, describes Basil as one of its leading lights:


“In his voyages, Basil encompasses all the finer virtues required of this most purist of small yacht endeavours. He tells his inspirational story in a readable, engrossing and uplifting manner, so perhaps you too will be encouraged to fulfil your dream.”

Basil has over 60 years of sea experience. The last 6 years encompass long-distance solo sailing, including 3 Jester Challenges and an Atlantic Circuit.

Basil settled in his adopted England in 1964, married, had children, divorced and remarried. It was his second wife who, after retirement and in order to occupy his time, suggested that he bought a boat, as he no longer taught sailing or involved himself with the Boat Show. She subsequently regretted her suggestion, as this started his solo career, which kept him away from home for long periods, sailing long distances in a very small boat, which some might consider far too small for such sailing ventures.

Basil lived his dream and he considers himself privileged to have met a number of similar-minded sailors and lucky to have survived what the elements have thrown at him.

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