Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship was originally known as Challenge Business 47 and successfully took part in two round the world races (Global Challenge 2000/2001 and the Global Challenge 2004/5). Designed by Robert Humphreys and built by Devenport Yachts in 2000, she was one of 12 identical yachts that took part in the toughest yacht race in the world and covering some 29,000 nautical miles.

The yachts were built with a steel hull and stainless steel deck. The steel was laser cut giving a high standard of precision and a quality build.

In the Global Challenge 2000/2001 the yacht was racing under the name Olympic, having been sponsored by the Olympic Group. The skipper was Manley Hopkinson and the yacht finished in 9th place (out of 12) taking 183 days to complete.

Having 12 identical boats racing put everybody on the same level playing field meaning that it was teamwork, stamina, strategy and determination that could mean the difference between winning and losing.

In the Global Challenge 2004/5 she finished in joint seventh place (under the yacht name VAIO). Skippered by Amedeo Sorrentino she finished the race in 170 days 11 hours 31 minutes and 10 seconds.

By sailing around the world the yacht has experienced weather conditions from gentle airs to gusts of over 60 knots, and from the seas lapping against the side of the boat to 50 foot waves crashing onto the deck.

Around the world and into Wales…

Challenge Wales has been operating for eight years and has worked with over 2,000 young people.

Since 2009 Challenge Wales has been active in sail training and has been competitive in the few races she has sailed in. From youth activity days and youth weeks to adult day sails and longer voyages.

In 2012 Challenge Wales was invited to be part of the Queen’s Jubilee Thames Pageant in London as part of the Avenue of Sail floating exhibition in St Katharine’s Dock. Challenge Wales’ attendance was endorsed by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan and she represented the youth of Wales in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Young people from different parts of Wales sailed Challenge Wales up the Thames as part of a special Jubilee Sailing Voyage.

Following the Jubilee Pageant Challenge Wales raced from London to the Olympic sailing venue in Portland in the ASTO Small Ships Race where she took Line Honours and First in Class.

In 2013 Challenge Wales won the ITV People’s Millions Awards which provided funding for the charity to work with visually impaired and blind young people.

In 2014 Challenge Wales was the lead boat for the last few miles, up the Clyde, as part of the Commonwealth Games Flotilla.

In 2015 Challenge Wales was Highly Commended by the Welsh Council of Voluntary Action (WCVA) in the Volunteering Wales awards.

In 2016 Challenge Wales was awarded Blue Flag Status, showing our commitment to the environment and oceans, and took part in her first Tall Ships Races. In September 2016 Challenge Wales welcomed HRH Prince Edward as part of the Diamond Anniversary celebrations of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

In 2017 Challenge Wales won “UK Sail Training Vessel of the Year”, won the ‘People Development’ category in the South Wales Business Growth Awards and was a finalist in the Charity category at the Cardiff Life Awards. The summer of 2017 saw Challenge Wales take part in her biggest adventure yet with young people sailing over 4,000 miles, visiting no fewer than 14 counties, welcomed 10 different nationalities onboard. Crewed by young people on each leg she was away for almost 80 days reprepresenting Wales and the UK at some of the biggest events in Europe!

Deck Layout (click on image to enlarge)

Challenge Wales Deck Layout

Sail Plan (click on image to enlarge)

Challenge Wales Sail Plan


Area Imperial Metric
Length overall 72 ft 22 m
Beam 18 ft 2 in 5.5 m
Height of mast above waterline 95 ft 29 m
Sail area windward 2825 sq ft 262.5 sq m
Sail area downwind 4020 sq ft 373 sq m
Ballast Keel weight 10.3 tonnes 10.4 tons
Fuel tank capacity 475 gallons 2150 litres
Water tank capacity 390 gallons 1775 litres

Adventure Wales

In 2017 the Challenge Wales charity acquired Adventure WalesA 60 foot ocean-going schooner. Adventure Wales

Picture of Ocean Venture courtesy of Ocean Venture

Adventure Wales has circumnavigated the world, raced in numerous transatlantic races and won first in class (twice) in Round the Island Race.

She sleeps 14 people and sails with up to 10 passengers and 4 Challenge Wales crew.

Accommodation onboard is split into one 4-berth cabin at the bow, four 2-berth cabins and one berth at the stern of the boat. Another berth is available but is currently not being used.


Area Imperial Metric
Length overall 60 ft 18.2 m
Beam 15 ft 1 in 4.6 m
Height of mast above waterline X ft X m
Sail area windward TBC sq ft TBC sq m
Sail area downwind TBC sq ft TBC sq m
Ballast Keel weight TBC tonnes TBC tons
Fuel tank capacity TBC gallons TBC litres
Water tank capacity TBC gallons TBC litres