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Potted History of Jolie Brise

The Dauntsey's Sailing Club was started back in 1971 by pupils, helped by a housemaster. They put an ad in The Times looking for work in exchange for sailing and this led to the use, and then the gift, of Griffin II. Brought back to school and refurbished, she later broke free from her moorings in a winter storm and was a total loss – but well insured.

At the time, Jolie Brise was owned by a Portuguese family, the Labatos, and moored at Lisbon. During the Portuguese revolution in 1975, Luis Lobato gained permission to take her out for a day sail – and kept going until he reached London. For the next few years she was moored in St Katherine Docks, where Lobato’s children lived on board while at school and then university.

He was then keen to sell the boat to someone who would teach young kids to sail, which was how Jolie Brise had been used in Lisbon. Labato approached Exeter Maritime Museum, who knew Dauntsey’s were looking for a boat. The museum put up half the money and Griffin II’s insurance paid the rest. A 20-year lease was agreed but the museum went bankrupt in 1997 and Daunstey’s bought their share from the receivers.

At much the same time, I was appointed full-time head of sailing and it was decided that the boat would be used commercially when students were not being taught on it, to help cover costs. Today, Jolie Brise is still used to teach sailing and is regularly chartered out.

A magazine article 2016

Another victory for Jolie Brise

...But they reckoned without the racing spirit of Dauntsey School's  classic pilot cutter, Jolie Brise which powered through the gap...

Read more 

Jolie Brise over time

The Jolie Brise being launched for the first time 1913


Built in Le Havre by Paumelle as a pilot cutter, racing pilots to incoming ships so they could be paid for bringing them into harbour.

A news paper article of the crew that won the first fastnet race


Winner of the 1st Fastnet Race - from the Isle of Wight to the Solent via the Fastnet Rock.


Wins Fastnet

A black and white photo of Jolie Brise circa 1935


Wins Fastnet


Rescues the crew from the burning Adriana

The Lobato family smartly dressed and holding the Jolie Brises flag


Bought by Senhor Lobato in Lisbon

Black and white photo of the Jolie Bries, sailing ship, moored and being cleaned by students and staff


Association with Dauntsey's begins, the Sailing Club acquires use of Jolie Brise.


Refit and competes in Fastnet again

The crew of the arctic expedition 1997 on the deck of the Jolie Brise


Journey to the Arctic, going 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle

The bow sprit of the Jolie Brise can be seen with new York's Twin Towers in the background


Crosses the Atlantic and wins Tall Ship Races

Lots of different sailing ships celebrating the Battle of Trafalgar


Jolie Brise leads flotilla past Her Majesty The Queen and also leads the re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar on the 200th Anniversary of the death of Lord Horation Nelson.

2006 Jolie Brise in rough seas


Jolie Brise wins the 50th Anniversary Tall Ships' Race. 

Crew of the Jolie Brise 2008 holding a placard saying Jolie Brise, United Kingdom


Once more is overall winner of Tall Ships races

Jolie Brise wet and windy, pulling on the ropes


Jolie Brise takes part in the Tall Ships Transatlantic Challenge even though she lost her top mast in a storm off Irish coast, she goes on to win the second leg from Tenerife to Bermuda, and is placed 1st in class and 1st overall.

The Jolie Brise with her red sails, sails along side a large multi-masted sailing ship


Overall winner of Tall Ships Series

Tower Bridge opens for the Jolie Brise


The school celebrates Jolie Brise’s 100th birthday and she competes in the Fastnet Race;  the team of Sixth Formers were delighted to break Jolie Brise’s previous record in the race, set over 75 years ago, by 24 hours. Jolie Brise also sailed up the Thames for a reception at St Katharine Docks with Tower Bridge opening twice to let her pass. The ASTO Hammond Innes Small Ships race followed, from Ipswich to Cowes. 

Jolie brise in port at Alesund Norway


Jolie Brise is overall winner of Tall Ships Races 2015 - race through the Outer Hebrides and Shetland Islands to Ålesund in Norway, 60 nautical miles south of the Arctic Circle.

The Jolie Brise sailing up the river


Sails over 1,900 nautical miles over 38 days, visiting ports in Belgium, Portugal and Spain. Jolie Brise powered to victory in the ASTO small ships race taking not only her class but also the Aurora Trophy as over all winner on corrected time.

The Jolie Brise with her red sails and a blue banner


Takes part in the International Rendez-vous Tall Ships Regatta – a 10,000 nautical mile transatlantic race visiting Portugal, Bermuda, America, Canada and France.

Crew of the Jolie Brise 2018 sat on the mast of the ship displaying the trophy


Competed in the Tall Ships Races; from the UK to Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.

Wrapped up warm in waterproofs, hats gloves and boots, sailing the Jolie Brise in cold weather


Taking part in the Tall Ships Festival in Bergen, followed by the Norwegian Fjords and the Shetland Islands. Sailing on to the Faroe Islands, and then on to Iceland. And back.