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Old 15-04-2012, 17:08   #1
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Played with Jolie Brise today

We were berthed nearby to her in Weymouth. She cast off about half an hour before we did, bound for Hamble 52 miles away.

We caught her near St. Alban's head, then sailed together from there around Anvil Point, through the Needles, up the Solent, to the Hamble.

What a ravishingly beautiful boat, and nearly 100 years old. Sailed very well, astonishingly close to the wind, and very fast (not faster than us, however -- we did get into the Hamble first, despite having left half an hour earlier ). And we were in pretty tough conditions with gusts over 30. I was really surprised at how much sail she could carry in those conditions -- she had her full mainsail up, a jib and a staysail

For those who haven't heard of Jolie Brise, she is the yacht which won the very first Fastnet race way back in 1925, and won the legendary race several times afterwards. She is still raced to this day, and has been the overall winner of the Tall Ships Transatlactic Race a couple of times last decade.

Ah, what a great day at sea today. Just far too cold for this time of year We did the 52 miles in six and a half hours


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Old 16-04-2012, 00:33   #2
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Re: Played with Jolie Brise today

WOW! How great... a wonderful opportunity on a beautiful sailing day. Thanks so much for the post and the nice pics!
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Old 16-04-2012, 01:34   #3
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Re: Played with Jolie Brise today

It is certainly cold out there at the moment, in spite of the sunshine waterproofs are still standard wear. I've seen this boat a few times in the Solent and Soton Waters. Very impressive and usually disappearing. It gets a lot of use, maybe as a training ship.
30kts across Poole Bay must have been quite lumpy but a good run through the needles with following wind and waves?
Looking at her sail layout I do wonder how much we have learned. The low centre of pressure obviously works really well in stronger winds, I've usually seen her with a topsail flying (Thames Barge style). Surely this arrangement would suit Cats, it's already so similar to the old Prout rear mast layout.
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Old 16-04-2012, 08:30   #4
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Re: Played with Jolie Brise today

Beautiful. A few years back, I overhauled the Canadian custom race boat Bonaventure, a 54 foot C&C once, because they were just farting around and I was trimmed for speed. It's a mere 40 years old, but I did enjoy seeing a winning boat from the past.

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Old 16-04-2012, 09:40   #5
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Re: Played with Jolie Brise today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleven View Post
It is certainly cold out there at the moment, in spite of the sunshine waterproofs are still standard wear. I've seen this boat a few times in the Solent and Soton Waters. Very impressive and usually disappearing. It gets a lot of use, maybe as a training ship.
30kts across Poole Bay must have been quite lumpy but a good run through the needles with following wind and waves?
Looking at her sail layout I do wonder how much we have learned. The low centre of pressure obviously works really well in stronger winds, I've usually seen her with a topsail flying (Thames Barge style). Surely this arrangement would suit Cats, it's already so similar to the old Prout rear mast layout.
I was surprised at how efficiently Jolie Brise was sailing in tough, gusty conditions. We were struggling, and they appeared not to be. Perhaps we had too much sail up.

There was no following wind or seas. The wind was a cold North wind, so we were on a beam reach from Weymouth to St. Alban's Head, then a close reach from St. Alban's Head to Anvil Point, then we were pointing from there to the Needles, and from there hard on the wind.

We motored for a while after St. Alban's head so that lunch could be cooked, which cut our speed and let Jolie Brise get ahead of us.

After lunch we put out sail again and caught up with her again in Poole Bay, where the sea was indeed up, with a lot of water coming over the bows (good for the deck).

Jolie Brise was not heeling as much as we were, which I guess speaks for the low center of pressure of that rig without topsails. We are taught that a low aspect ratio rig like that -- with the very long mainsail -- is much less efficient upwind, because the long sail adds drag while lift is limited by luff length. But you sure couldn't tell yesterday. Jolie Brise was going to windward like a freight train. We passed her with great difficulty, and she was sailing closer to the wind than we were -- we had to tack. I lose 5 - 7 degrees of pointing ability with just the first reef in the yankee jib.
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Old 16-04-2012, 09:46   #6
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Re: Played with Jolie Brise today

But you did beat her in! So how far has sailing come in the last hundred years????
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Old 16-04-2012, 15:42   #7
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Re: Played with Jolie Brise today

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But you did beat her in! So how far has sailing come in the last hundred years????
Yes, but we are a very fast boat despite my carp sail trimming skills. I doubt many Solent boats would have been able to keep up with her. I was especially surprised and perplexed at how close to the wind she was sailing. I dont' really understand how it is possible. It does seem that precious little progress has been made.
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