Challenge Wales, Challenge Wales

Job Title: Mate/Relief Skipper

Closing date: 20 February 2022

Employed by: Challenge Wales

Accountable to: The Skipper / CEO

Line Managed by: The Skipper

Essential Checks: Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, references

Type of Position: Full Time Seasonal position, with a three week on/one week off leave ratio. Postholder to ideally start beginning of March – October but potential for extension.

Salary & Benefits: £20,000 – £22,000 Pro Rata annual salary plus work place pension. plus food while on voyages.

How to apply:

Email your CV and a supporting statement of no more than 2 sides. The supporting statement should include your motivation for applying, why you believe you are a strong candidate and your notice period (if applicable). The application should detail your suitability for the role together with. Please also supply two references to: [email protected]

Deadlines: Applications to be received by 20th February 2022. Applications may close earlier if there are sufficient suitable applicants to bring to interview.

Selection Process: Initial interview will be Zoom or face-to-face (depending on government guidance and location), at-sea assessments will follow which may involve several days on board one of our vessels.




Challenge Wales is an award-winning sail training charity, based in South Wales and currently operates two vessels carrying out youth development activities and adult big boat adventures (fundraising voyages). Sailing activity takes place around the Welsh coast, Ireland, South Coast and further afield where sail training events and races are taking place. In the past, this has included Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway.

Challenge Wales works with a diverse mix of young people from a variety of backgrounds


Purpose of the Role:

The Mate/Relief Skipper is a key role supporting the Skipper in delivering the youth and adult sailing programme of Challenge Wales vessels and covering for the Skipper during leave periods. The successful candidate will also assist with the onboard maintenance and the training/management of the volunteer crew as well as work with the Youth Development Officer to deliver the Charity’s young person’s (accredited) programme.


Tasks & Responsibilities

You will be required to:

  •  Safely navigate and operate the vessel under the direction of the Skipper and in accordance with the Charity’s Operational Procedures and Policies.
  • Assist the Skipper with ensuring the vessel and its equipment are maintained in a safe and seaworthy condition at all times and in accordance with Challenge Wales’ Planned Maintenance Programme.
  • Support the skipper with safety, discipline, morale and welfare of volunteers and clients.
  • Assist the Camp Boss with food management and victualling within budget.
  • Co-ordinating any feedback paperwork as well as funding specific paperwork (e.g. equality/outcome wheel’s)
  • Running the deck in a Mate role and leading young people and clients in sailing tasks.
  • Leading tasks linked to accreditation as guided/supported by Youth Development Officer,including environmental focussed activities ensuring the right resources are onboard at theright time.
  • Operate the tender
  • Assist with the delivery of RYA courses (Start Yachting, Competent Crew, Watchleader,Sailability)
  • Championing the brand and raising the profile of the charity
  • Cover for the Skipper on either vessel during leave periods.

The above list is not intended to be comprehensive but the post-holder will be expected to be flexible in carrying out tasks related to their role.

Personal Specification

The successful candidate will:

  • Have a valid ENG1 or ML5 seafarer medical fitness certificate.
  • Have a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification.
  • Have a Commercial Endorsement.
  • Radar certificate.
  • Food Hygiene Level 2 (classroom course, not online course).
  • Have experience of sail training industry (minimum of 1 year).
  • Have experience of sailing vessels of similar size to Challenge Wales vessels.
  • Good leadership skills and ability to lead in a positive way
  • Have the ability to work on their own initiative
  • Be energetic enthusiastic, hands-on, proactive and willing to work hard
  • Can bring their own ideas to the charity to create new opportunities and strengthen theChallenge Wales sail training programme.
  • Possess very good communication skills both verbal and written, be compassionate and ableto understand the needs of others
  • Competent in Excel and Word documents.
  • Experience of working with disadvantaged young people.
  • Able to conduct personal assessments with young people during and after a voyage and helpthem identify and work towards personal goals.
  • Be a team player.


Desirable and advantageous

  • Medical Care Aboard Ship.
  • Experience of larger outdoor/adventure organisations and delivering activities to a wide variety of people.
  • Experience in a similar role.
  • Skipper experience.
  • 2 years of Sail Training experience.
  • Experience, and understanding, of shore-side operations that come with an adventure organisation.
  • Local knowledge of the Bristol Channel.
  • A Welsh speaker (written/oral).


All employees are expected to take responsibility and comply with Challenge Wales’ policies and procedures. There is a one month probation period and 1 month notice period.

Further information on Challenge Wales can be found at