Tally Ho, Jolie Brise and Ilex: the story of the first three Fastnet races

Tally Ho

‘A hundred years ago public interest in yacht racing was widespread and the press, both dailies and periodicals, printed long articles covering races in and off shore. People came to sit on the headlands and watched in their thousands as well. Offshore ocean races did not favor the picnicing crowd ashore and the tales needed to be told by the sailors. Ocean crossings in small boats and private races between big boats got wide coverage in the 19th century. In the early twentieth century periodicals like The Rudder and Yachting Monthly took the lead in sponsoring and promoting ocean races, starting with the Bermuda Race off the US east coast and the Fastnet Race starting at Cowes, England.

‘The first three winners of the Fastnet Race were old boats of widely varying character and all three of these boats still exist 90 years later, all over 100 years old. Jolie Brise, 1925 winner as well as in 1929 and 1930, was built as a French pilot boat in 1913. Ilex, 1926 winner, was designed and built by Camper and Nicholson in 1899 as a yacht. Tally Ho, 1927 winner, was designed by Albert Strange in 1909 and built in 1910 as a cruiser from which the owner, a fishing fleet owner, could fish.’

Read the rest of Thad Danielson’s article here.  Read more about the historic Tally Ho and find out more about the Albert Strange Association’s efforts to give her a future here.


4 thoughts on “Tally Ho, Jolie Brise and Ilex: the story of the first three Fastnet races”

  1. Adlard Coles’ History of the RORC makes interesting reading.

    Until the advent of the influence of Coles himself, Knud Reimers, Hasler sailing Tre Sang and Illingworth/Primrose a fraction later it is reported that if racing was upwind and over 25 knots of breeze that the fleet would anchor and wait for more favourable conditions.

    Wonderful boats still, but a long way behind the Europeans at the time in terms of capability in a full range of weathers.

    And not a lot of progression until close to and after WW2.

    This was despite the big advances made in UK small sailing boat design

    1. Why do you think there was this pause in yacht design development? Do you think it was down to personalities – owners and designers – or perhaps a lack of a revolutionary development in design equivalent to the planing dinghy to focus minds and transform expectations?

      1. Looking at the hotbed of development that was happening with smaller boats whether thinking about canoes, canoe yawls, A-Raters, 14s and 12s it is clear that there was the capability of innovation.

        Could it just be thoughts of Empire, English Oak and Nelson holding back? Maybe the three types of boat represented above are truly representative of a mindset.

        But then again there was a lot of reluctance to embrace change in the more established dinghy classes, both the trapeze and hiking plank were rejected from use in the International 14.

        Look at the frantic pace of development in the Skerry cruisers, Rennjollen and other European types.

        Cue next article.

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