Old Dauntseians take the helm

Jolie Brise is on her way to Bermuda in the second race of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. Fittingly, she is being skippered on this challenging transatlantic leg by Old Dauntseian Luke Duckworth, with First Mate Simon Pearson and Bosun Ollie Barnes, also Old Dauntseians, lending a hand.

Simon, Luke and Ollie

Luke and Simon have extensive experience on Jolie Brise and both participated in the 2009 Transatlantic Challenge whilst they were at Dauntsey’s. Bosun Ollie Barnes, who left Dauntsey’s last summer, crewed Jolie Brise in 2015 when she raced from Belfast through the Outer Hebrides and Shetland Islands to Ålesund in Norway, 60 nautical miles south of the Arctic Circle.

The second race lasts several weeks with the tall ships fleet expected to arrive in Bermuda at the end of May in time to enjoy some of the prestigious America’s Cup action. Having been the overall winner and first in her class in race 1 from Torbay to Sines in Portugal, Jolie Brise and her crew are currently in Las Palmas for a compulsory 48 hour stop-over, enjoying a well-earned rest and re-stocking provisions before setting off for their next 2,500-nautical-mile leg to Bermuda. They are expected to depart from Las Palmas on Wednesday and are currently in first place on corrected time.

Toby Marris, Dauntsey’s Head of Sailing, said:

Jolie Brise is in safe hands on this transatlantic leg. Luke had the toughest of initiations in the 2009 transatlantic crossing when Jolie Brise lost her top mast in gale force eight winds and 50-60 foot waves. He coped with the worst that the Atlantic could throw at him; gales, storms, thunder and lightning, thick fog, violent and sudden changes in wind direction, together with the occasional shark keeping a watchful eye on him. By contrast, Simon experienced light airs and days becalmed on his leg to Bermuda which presented its own challenges as the crew had to hunt around for wind. Clearly none of this put them off sailing Tall Ships!

“Bosun Ollie has also had some challenging experiences on board Jolie Brise. His 2015 trip proved to be a very challenging race with spells of gale force winds and mountainous seas of over five metres high.

“We wish them brisk winds and fair weather on this critical leg and will be watching their progress closely.”

You can follow Jolie Brise on her journey using this fleet tracker http://yb.tl/rdv2017