9,000 miles sailed - 30 different ports visited

A summary of the 2014-2015 Sailing Season

Over the winter Jolie Brise underwent her usual thorough re-fit, being re-launched in March in pristine condition. During the Easter holidays we undertook the Dauntsey’s School cruise, which shot across the Channel to France and the Channel Islands, before competing in the St George’s Day Regatta with Parents and Old Dauntseians. This was a lot of fun, racing round the cans at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, Jolie Brise winning the event overall. Now in its fifth year, the only time Jolie Brise has not won was in 2011 when she couldn’t take part! After this we carried out various charters in the Solent area, including a superb day out with the DSPA, followed by a trip to St Mawes to compete in the Pilot Cutter World Championships! Next came the start of the Dauntsey’s half term cruise, which rushed back to the Solent to take part in the Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival, in which the students competed in a demonstration race against the massive 38 metre Fife ketch Mariquita. Although beaten on the water, Jolie Brise won on handicap.

Towards the end of June the Sailing Club ran another very successful five day Life Skills Course for twenty-fourof our students following their GCSE exams, covering many subjects, including everything from paddle boarding to how to cook a lasagne, and wiring a plug to self-defence.

Early July saw the start of the main summer cruise programme, which was competing in Sail Training

International’s Tall Ships Races from Belfast to Alesund in Northern Norway, to Kristiansand in Southern Norway, to Aalborg in Denmark then leaving Tall Ships for a time to come over to the East Coast of England before taking part in the massive Sail Amsterdam Festival, followed by a cruise back to Hamble via France and Belgium.

The first race leg encountered some very mixed weather. One exceptional storm caused Jolie Brise and her crew to take shelter in the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides for 24 hours. This proved to be a very good call as some vessels continued racing through the storm, but not really making any mileage towards Aalborg. When Jolie Brise came out of hiding we managed to catch nearly all the boats who had continued to race and she ended up second overall in the entire fleet of over 100 vessels. At the end of the racing the students spent a few days cruising through some of the Norwegian Islands before going into Alesund for the prize-giving.

The second cruise was a Cruise-in-Company, a non-race leg, from Kristiansand to Aalborg, which is always much more of a social event than the race legs. The Dauntsey’s students got to meet trainees from all sorts of different boats and lots and lots of different nationalities. This led us into the third cruise which was the second race leg in Tall Ships. The race from Kristiansand to Aalborg sailed in very light conditions, completely contrasting with the first race leg. Jolie Brise and her young trainees again performed well in difficult conditions, being well placed in the fleet. This meant that at the prize-giving in Aalborg Jolie Brise’s combined positions made her the overall winner, on corrected time, of Tall Ships 2015 and the crew being awarded the magnificent Florence Cup, now currently sitting in Reception.

The last two cruises of the summer sailed into the amazing festival that is Sail Amsterdam, with the

spectacular Parade of Sail in through thirty kilometres of the North Sea Canal. After spending three days in Amsterdam we changed crew and the new crew got to sail back out with the same Parade. We then sailed back to the Solent via Bruges and various other ports.

Since the start of term we have run a very successful Art Trip with the Art Department, and are currently taking the whole of the Fourth Form out sailing before heading off on two cruises to France and the Channel Islands at half term. We also competed in the ASTO Small Tall Ships race

with eleven of our Lower Sixth Form students. Sadly the race took part in very very light airs, turning it into a bit of a lottery, but the students still gained a very respectable second in class and third overall.

All in all another really great year for Jolie Brise and the Sailing Club. Over 200 students have sailed on the boat this year, 9,000 miles sailed and 30 different ports visited.

Toby Marris, Head of Sailing