2nd December 2019 — Crewed by pupils with the support of more experienced sailors, the ship was first to cross the finish line, in spite of challenging weather conditions, in the day-long race across The Solent.
Florence, a Sixth Former from Dauntsey’s, who helped crew the ship, said:
“It was an amazing opportunity to participate in this event. I had done a couple of longer cruises around Norway and Denmark on Jolie Brise but this was my first chance to be in an official race.
“On the morning of the race, we finished preparations and headed to the start line. It was magical to see all the boats sailing alongside each other and so inspiring to watch them head off, not just as an onlooker but as an involved crew member. Despite the lack of wind, we were determined to proceed in the race, working hard to navigate the difficult sailing conditions.
“When we worked together, we were able to gain some speed by manually pushing the boom out. This put us at a much greater advantage over the other teams and we raced ahead. We ended up winning as a result of our perseverance, while a lot of the other crews gave up, something we were commended for at the awards ceremony later that evening.”
The ASTO Small Ships Races are a youth event open to any Sail Training vessels of which at least half the crew is under 25. Small Ships races are run under the rules of Tall Ships Races but with, as the name suggests, some smaller vessels involved (usually under 24 metres long, with up to 16 trainees on board).