Jolie Brise Award

A model of the 'Jolie Brise', this Trophy was made and donated by the Reverend David Mumford. First awarded in 2013, it will be presented annually to an OGA member who, in the opinion of the GMC, 'has made a significant contribution to the development of gaff rig'. The OGA asks the recipient of this trophy to suggest a possible recipient for next year’s award to the GMC.

Not awarded in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

2016 winner: Roger Dongray

Roger Dongray has designed a large number of wonderful gaff-rig boats which are hugely popular with our OGA Fellowship, and many other sailors worldwide. His designs include the Cornish Shrimper, Cornish Crabber, Coble and Yawl, the lovely Cormorant dinghy and of course, the Golant Gaffer. For his superb contribution to gaff-rig boat design, I am delighted, on behalf of the OGA, to nominate him for this award.

2015 winner: Ed Burnett

As the current holder of the award, Nigel Irens provided the following nomination statement in awarding the trophy to Ed Burnett posthumously.

It falls to the incumbent holder of the Jolie Brise Trophy to propose who should be its next recipient. In my case this task is a very easy one. For many of us 2015 was marked by the tragic death of Ed Burnett and although there may be no precedent for a posthumous award of this kind I believe it would be wrong for this trophy to exist without Ed’s name engraved upon it.

It is hard to think of anyone in the world whose depth of knowledge, both historical and scientific, could match that accumulated by Ed in what turned out to be a sadly foreshortened life. The yachts he designed will certainly continue to give pleasure to many, but we can only imagine what heights this oustanding designer might have achieved if his illustrious career had run its full course.

2014 winner: Nigel Irens

Andrew Wolstenholme, winner in 2013, told the GMC he felt that significant developments in gaff rig were not necessarily taking place within the OGA by members. He asked whether he could nominate someone not currently an OGA member. It was agreed to do this for 2014, and to offer the winner a year’s free membership of the OGA, in the hope that he will stay with us. Andrew has nominated Nigel Irens, pictured here in a photograph by Tom Cunliffe, long-standing member of the OGA, with the model of 'Westernman', which Nigel designed for Tom c.1994.

Gil Hayward, South West Area President, was asked to present the Award to Nigel, which he did at the local Dittisham SC Annual Prize Giving Dinner on 23 January. South West Gaffers are delighted to welcome Nigel as the latest recruit to the Area and hope he will wish to be involved with the OGA for many years to come.

Best known for his cutting edge multihull designs, Nigel Irens’ forward thinking is not restricted to catamarans and trimarans. Something of a traditionalist at heart, in the early 1990's he produced his own take on the west country luggers 'Roxanne'. She blended modern thinking with tradition and was one of the first (if not the first) to use carbon fibre spars on a gaffer. She showed the world that gaff rigged boats need not be slow. Since then he has gone on to design a series of innovative fast gaff, lug or schooner rigged cruising yachts which continue to advance the evolution of gaff rig.

2013 winner: Andrew Wolstenholme, East Coast Area

Andrew Wolstenholme receives the Jolie Brise TrophyAndrew Wolstenholme is the first winner of this trophy.

Nomination statement:

This person is one of the designers currently practising who recognise that there is plenty of scope to develop gaff rig, not just out of a desire to preserve the old, but because it offers advantages today. His previous contribution to the seascape has included the Norfolk Gypsy and Smuggler, and the Coot dinghy, all of which combine the old and the new to great effect. His latest creation (ignoring some motorboats which enable him to make a living!) is 'Kite', a trailer-sailor with a powerful gaff rig, modern hull form and well-shaped foils. She showed herself to be a deserving winner in demanding conditions at the OGA50 celebrations in Cowes this summer. And when it is time to go home, the short spars make a neat package on the trailer.