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.


‘Feature vessels’ at the PSP Southampton Boat Show

Steam Pinnace 199

Jolie Brise Rosenn 210908 Caroline Allen

Armed Steam Pinnace 199, Caroline Allen, Rosenn and Jolie Brise – click on each of the thumbnails for a larger photo

Boat shows can be fun, but apart from one or two rather special events they aren’t events I tend to seek out. Perhaps I should got to them however – I was rather taken by this collection of photos of what are called ‘feature vessels’ appearing at the PSP Southampton Boat Show. ‘Feature vessels’ reminds me of the ‘personality girls’ they hire for the stands to lend a little stockinged glamour, and I guess the purpose is similar.

Naval steam pinnace Maintained and sailed by volunteers from the Society of Friends of the Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth, the 98-year-old Armed Steam Pinnace 199, is one of the last few boats in working condition still powered by steam.

Armed Steam Pinnace 199, along with her Hotchkiss three pound gun and a full crew dressed in the uniform of the era will arrive on the Show’s marina on public preview day to kick off the world record breaking semaphore attempt. See Armed Steam Pinnace 199 on Friday 11 September, berth 521.

Btw – have you noticed that the man on the stern is having a bit of moment with the ensign? Captions and speech bubbles please in the comments via the link below!

Caroline Allen The Caroline Allen is one of two 30ft steel brigs operated by the Little Brig Sailing Trust, and is the world’s smallest tall ship. She is fully equipped to take five young sailors aged 10 years and above for their first trip out on a tall ship. A typical trip sees five new sailors on the water for up to three hours, two each working the sails on each mast and one to steer.

The Caroline Allen has the same rigging as a much larger vessel, but with smaller sails the loads are a lot lighter, and to make things easier the ropes are colour-coded. She will be at berth 521 on Sunday 13 and Monday 14 September.

Jolie Brise The last sailing boat to carry the Royal Mail, Jolie Brise is a 96 year old gaff pilot cutter that became world famous when she won the very first Fastnet Race in 1925. A former fishing boat, Jolie Brise has also recently become a record breaker by setting a new ship’s record speed of 14.1kts whilst surfing down a wave.

Jolie Brise is sailed by pupils of Dauntsey’s School and has successfully competed in six Tall Ships Races – twice being the overall winner of races to the USA and Canada and twice winning the award for the youngest crew in the fleet. She will be at berth 521 on the marina on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 September.

Rosenn One of just 22 yachts built at the end of the 19th century, Rosenn is the last of the Solent One Design yachts still afloat, not to mention still racing, and is part owned by renowned yachtsman and journalist, Bob Fisher.

After spending an astonishing 60 years on the River Crouch, she returned to the Solent where she races from Lymington, recently completing the 2009 Round the Island Race. She will be at berth 521 on the marina on Thursday 17 and 18 of September.

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A few more photos of famous old boats

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Shamrock III


Jolie Brise

And they couldn’t be much more famous, could they? Lulworth and Shamrock III are two giant racers from the days when racing was a mass spectator sport and the boats had to be big to be seen by crowds standing on cliff tops (that must have been frightening!), and Jolie Brise was a veteran of various races and cruising exploits. Read more about Lulworth at the Wikipedia and at intheboatshed.net, and there’s a section on persistent America’s Cup Challenger and ‘best of all losers’ Sir Thomas Lipton at the Wikipedia.

For more on Jolie Brise try the Dauntsey’s School site and the Wikipedia.

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