Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Botin Fast40

Ken Fowler begins Yodare Challenge to reach £50,000 charity total

by Sarah Desjonqueres 7 Apr 09:18 PDT
Ken Fowler's Yodare Challenge begins © Giles Fletcher

He views his next challenge as dealing with "unfinished business"; the niggling matter of a charity pot not quite filled during his previous sailing escapades, but whether it is as simple as that or something more complex, Dorset husband and father Ken Fowler is once more driven push the boundaries of dinghy sailing.

Not content with his award-winning epic sailing adventure in his tiny lightweight dinghy, Yoda, all the way from Land's End to John O'Groats two years ago and raising £37,000, the sailor and adventurer is back at the helm and taking on yet another challenge.

Ken's latest 'dizzy' exploit will see him attempt to sail 1,200 miles around 183 islands dotted all over England and Wales. Over the next two years, Ken will face the familiar dangers of single handed dinghy sailing miles off shore, along with the fresh challenges of negotiating 49 ft tidal ranges in the Bristol Channel and the incredibly shallow mudflats of the east coast of Britain.

The first sailor to ever take on this challenge, Ken has set himself this massive task in order to raise funds for Oakhaven Hospice and Cancer Research and finally reach the £50k target he set during his Race To Scotland journey in 2017. He says, "Cancer patients don't get to give up and neither will I. Oakhaven Hospice is so brilliant and so caring, I just want to match that dedication and give something back."

With 12 islands already under his belt, he has already encountered dense fog, a bridge so low he had to capsize the boat to get underneath it and fast receding tides nearly leaving him marooned on mud flats. As Ken takes on the more coastal islands, he will have to face the bigger dangers of giant over falls and wild coastal launching and landing sites with long days in the boat. Nothing he has not done before.

There are a couple of particular islands he is keen to tick off the list, most notably Lundy. After being 'assisted' by Tenby RNLI during his previous adventure, Ken hopes to return and conquer the island in early August. Our sea sailor is also very taken by the idea of sailing round the 14 islands of Windermere. With no tides, shallow bits, bridges, surf, whirlpools or shipping lanes to deal with it will almost feel like a pleasure cruise. Excitingly, he is also hoping to be joined by the Junior AB fleet of Parkstone Sailing Club on 19th May who intend to escort him around a few of the islands in Poole Harbour including Brownsea Island, Furzey island, Green island, Long island, Round Island, Giggers Island.

Top of the island list however lies at the very tip of England. The Scillies have always been on his 'to do list' in life and reflecting on this Ken says "The pictures of the Isles of Scilly look more like the Caribbean than the UK and with that many stunning islands and beaches it will be a dinghy island sailors dream - weather permitting!" Hopefully, he will get his wish as he heads off to meet this challenge in mid-May of 2020.

Ken is supported in his challenge by an array of kind sponsors, Rooster, Overboard, Morgan Sails and Zest boatworks have kitted him out and set the boat up, Grapefruit and Wolfden creative have covered Yoda in artwork and built the website www.yodare.co.uk, SolRX, Halcyon Yachts and ICOM have made sure he won't burn in the sun or get lost with no contact and and YB tracking have provided him with a full live tracker so that we can follow his journey on the 'Where's Ken' button on his website.

Ken hopes to complete the task by summer 2020, making the last island he sails around a return to the location of his first ever sailing adventure, and the closest island to home, the Isle of Wight. He hopes that, unlike arriving at John O'Groats after his gruelling 35 days with only his support team of two waiting for him, he can arrive back in Mudeford Harbour triumphant and fall exhausted into the embrace of his family. The icing on the cake of course, would be to have reached that £13,000 target (thus £50,000 in total).

Follow Ken's journey via his website www.yodare.co.uk or on twitter @goyodare or via Facebook Yodare.

Related Articles

Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week day 1
Azzurra make dream start to 2019 in Menorca Menorca has been good to Azzurra when the 52 SUPER SERIES has visited in the past. In 2016 they turned a corner at the Menorca event to convert a bad season to a clear win the last event of the season in Cascais. Posted today at 8:09 pm
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 1
Close racing on the first day The first day of racing is done at the Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival. Almost all classes raced according to schedule, only the Hansa Class had to stay inside due to, too heavy winds. For the RS:X surfers racing went smooth and fast. Posted today at 6:11 pm
The Ocean Race - Part 3: The new Course
'Trying to push the race back towards its core which involves spending longer periods at sea' "We are trying to push the race back towards its core which involves spending longer periods at sea, more time in the Southern Ocean - and trying to reduce the stop-start nature of the race that we have seen in the past. Posted today at 3:05 pm
Olympics news regarding Paris 2024 and Tokyo 2020
Equipment selection currently dominating the sailing news While the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are still well beyond the horizon, wheels are already turning for the Paris 2024 Olympics, with equipment selection dominating the Olympic sailing news cycle Posted today at 3:00 pm
RS Sailing reflect on 2024 Equipment Selection
For the Men's and Women's One Person Dinghy The World Sailing Mid-Year conference, which gripped the attention of so many passionate sailors and followers, came to a close Sunday in London. Posted today at 8:14 am
RS:X looks forward to sea-trials
After decision made at the World Sailing Mid-Year Meeting 2019 in London The International RS:X Class note with some disappointment the decision to reject the World Sailing Boards recommendation to retain the RS:X for the 2024 Olympics. Posted today at 7:18 am
Paul Cayard report from the Star Europeans
A very physical five days with 12 races After five days of racing with 12 races, 4 of which were yesterday, Arthur "Tutu" Lopes(BRA) and I got the Bronze in the European Championship. Posted today at 6:17 am
Laser Europeans at Porto day 1
55 countries competing on the Atlantic The races that will award next Saturday the European titles of the Standard Laser Class (male seniors), Laser Radial (female seniors) and Laser Radial Open (all ages and genres) began yesterday. Posted on 20 May
Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week practice race
Azzurra prove they have a good grasp of what promises to be a challenging event As is usual for the Italian-Argentine crew, superstition prevailed and even with a comfortable lead they made a small detour to miss the finish line, so adhering to their belief: "winning the practice race may jinx the regatta." Posted on 20 May
What we have learnt from the Bermudes 1000 Race
Won on Friday by Sébastien Simon There is still one competitor still at sea in the second edition of the Bermudes 1000 Race, the Belgian skipper, Denis Van Weynbergh, who is expected to finish on Thursday afternoon in Brest. Posted on 20 May
Melges IC37 2019 FooterNaiad 660x82px_SuperyachtMarine Resources BOTTOM