Tom Cunliffe talks about the adventurous life of Jolie Brise to-date.
Jolie Brise, arguably one of the most famous tall ships in the world, has been sailed and maintained by pupils from Dauntsey's for 45 years.
Unusually for a land-locked school, Dauntsey’s has a long association with, and passion for, sailing; the school’s Sailing club was founded in 1971 and the association with Jolie Brise began in 1977. She is a Category 0 vessel – allowed to go anywhere in the world, at any time – and Dauntsey’s pupils have sailed her across the Atlantic six times, crossed the Bay of Biscay 10 times, and navigated up to 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle.
Named after France’s equivalent of the Beaufort scale force five wind, Jolie Brise was designed by Paumelle and launched at Le Havre in 1913. She was the penultimate Gaff Cutter in the Pilot Service before the change from sail to steam and the last boat to carry the Royal Mail under sail. She has won the Fastnet Race three times, including the first race in 1925 and more recently with Dauntsey’s pupils on board she has been overall winner of the Tall Ships Races four times.
Sailing on Jolie Brise is a big confidence builder. I see our pupils walking taller when they come off the boat.
Toby Marris, Head of Sailing
Dauntsey’s Sailing Club
Dauntsey's Sailing Club sails and maintains Jolie Brise under the command of full-time skipper, Toby Marris, and first mate, Adam Seager. During the spring, summer and half-term holidays Jolie Brise cruises to almost anywhere in Europe; Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Norway and the Shetland Islands to name but a few. She often takes part in the Tall Ships' races, and she annually competes in the Round the Island Race as well.
Membership costs £15 per term and cruises cost extra depending on cruise length and travel costs to, and from, the boat. There are also Old Dauntseian and Associate Members (many of whom are parents of pupils at school) who are invited to sail on the boat from time to time.
The Sailing Club is completely voluntary and is open to all pupils at Dauntsey's from Year 10 upwards. Pupil members of the Sailing Club who have left Dauntsey's are encouraged to re-join, and a good proportion always do. People who have chartered Jolie Brise very often join the Sailing Club as Associate Members.
If you would like to become a pupil or associate member, are interested in chartering Jolie Brise, or feel you can help the club in any way, please contact Toby Marris.