'Jolie Brise' returns to Southampton

After a busy summer season Jolie Brise has returned to her home port of Hamble in Southampton.

Over the summer holidays, pupils joined the School’s historic tall ship for a variety of cruises. Some enjoyed sailing along the Portuguese and Spanish coast whilst others opted to participate in the competitive Tall Ships Races and were delighted to come 1st in class and 1st overall in the St Malo to Lisbon race leg. Unfortunately, extreme weather forced Skipper, Toby Marris to withdraw from the final offshore race from La Coruna to Dublin. However, spirits were not dampened and Jolie Brise and her crew enjoyed several days of parades and partying at the Tall Ships Festival in Dublin.

In September and October, all the Fourth Form and new Lower Sixth pupils enjoy a short cruise in the Solent, making sure that all Dauntseians experience life on board Jolie Brise.

The La Corunna to Dublin Voyage on board Jolie Brise

On joining the Jolie Brise in the Spanish port of La Corunna, the stormy short-term forecast dampened not just our appetite for racing, but that of the entire Tall Ships fleet . The JB crew enjoyed a few days of swimming off windswept beaches before reports given by other boats at sea cemented our decision to abandon the race leg and make our own way to Dublin, avoiding the worst of the weather and potential damage to the boat and crew.

We set sail with the intention of hugging the coast and steering clear of the continental drop off, which gives the Bay of Biscay its infamous reputation for rough seas. After a day of fairly bouncy but fast downwind sailing we felt confident to cut across Biscay and head for the Scilly Isles. By skirting outer reaches of the weather we were able to enjoy several days of rapid sailing, eating up the miles to the Scilly's. The weather turned almost as soon as we had dropped anchor, leaving us with two days of brilliant sunshine matched by the breath-taking views.
An increase in wind prompted our departure for Dublin and, with the wind now just aft of the beam, the risk of jybing was far reduced making for a much less stressful crossing.
The crew were welcomed to Dublin with several days of entertainment and partying provided by both the Tall Ships and the Head Master. A great finale to a fortnight of fast sailing with brilliant destinations.