Berths are filling up fast for the inaugural Challenge Transat 2002, a series of two races from Southampton to Boston and back. If you're between 21 and 65 and fancy an adventure, see how you can volunteer for a berth aboard one of the Challenge yachts

Berths are filling up fast for the inaugural Challenge Transat 2002, a series of two races from Southampton to Boston and back, and organisers, Challenge Business have confirmed they are to be run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC).

The Challenge Transat 2002 sets sail on 25 August 2002 from Ocean Village Marina, Southampton, UK, destined for Boston, USA. After a brief stopover and awards ceremony in the Massachusetts city a separate race will see the fleet taking a downwind sprint back to the UK. Crew Volunteers will be able to race in one or both directions.

Simon Walker, managing director for Challenge Business, comments: “For a first event we’re delighted with the response that the Challenge Transat has been generating. As with all of our races the success of this is down to the fact that we listen to what Crew Volunteers tell us. In this case they wanted a scaled-down version of the Global Challenge and a race that would take less time and money yet fundamentally use the same ingredients as the Global Challenge, i.e. identical yachts, equally matched crews and a real challenge. “Coupled with this, we’ve now added further value to the event by running it under the auspices of the RORC.

Crew Volunteers, who enter the race, either in one or both races, will satisfy the racing criteria they will need in order to give them eligibility required to apply for membership of the RORC. “A great number of previous Challenge Business Crew Volunteers have become members of the RORC and I’m delighted this opportunity is now open to participants of the Challenge Transat 2002. “Training in the UK is now well underway for the races and will continue from Ocean Village Marina in Southampton. Training in Boston will be commencing in April and it is envisaged that all training will be finished by June with team announcements being made at the end of July. ”

The race is for men and women from all nationalities and walks of life. The only stipulation is participants need to be between 21 and 65 to enter and certain medical conditions will preclude the application. No previous experience in sailing is necessary, as full training will be given to all Crew Volunteers. The Challenge Transat has been specifically designed to fit in to the average person’s holiday entitlement. Crew Volunteers will be required to complete a minimum of two training courses in Southampton over five days (including Saturday and Sunday). Time at sea will vary but, on average, approximately 28 working days should be allowed for each race, which will include the training.

Berths are now full for the Southampton to Boston race, with a healthy reserve list growing. There are still places left for the Boston to Southampton race and a few berths for crew wishing to race both ways. Potential Crew Volunteers can obtain further information from the Web site: or by contacting the Crew Volunteer department on 44 (0) 1752 565654. It is anticipated that each yacht will have one title sponsor, the names of which will be announced shortly.