Dieppe Dash 2017 – summary

The seventh Dieppe Dash was the one most lacking in wind since the start of the event. Although 36 boats entered, six dropped out prior to the event, mainly due to lack of progress in getting the boat ready in time.

On the day, 30 boats set off from Brighton – 7 in the IRC race, 13 in the SCCH race and 10 cruising boats. The cruising boats chose their own start time, but the race started at 06:00 BST. The forecast was for a light north, north westerly wind to start with – downwind sailing. As the day progressed, the wind speed fell-off the bottom of the scale and many boats (both rally and racing) reported being becalmed mid-channel. 4 racing and 2 rally boats had a variety of problems and decided to turn back.

The first boat to arrive in Dieppe was Windsong who had set off around 20:40 hrs on the Thursday evening after listening to the weather briefing. The next boat to arrive in Dieppe was another cruising boat, Blue Heaven at around 12:15 BST having set-off at 04:00 hrs BST.

The race officer for the finish line found the harbour arm closed off with fencing since January due to the winter storms and it took time to negotiate access. The line was manned from about 12:30 hrs BST.

There was a lot of tide – wow! At high water the sea was licking under the wooden boards of the harbour arm. As the tidal height reduced, it was like watching a lift! …it seemed only a matter of minutes passing by as each successive level of holes in the structure of the harbour arm were revealed.

In the racing, line honours went to Tanga Langa, coming in nearly 7 hours later.

Well into darkness, boats were calling to retire; it seemed that as one boat retired, that encouraged two more to do the same. Nearer to the shore the approach to the finish was like a minefield of flags in the water, far more than previously, adding to challenge of crossing the finish in light winds and a strong incoming tide.

Temptation arrived at the finish area passing close to the pin-end. As fate would have it, they passed the wrong side of the mark – Oops..! By now it was low water; correction, Very Low water. In their attempts to get their spinnaker down they took their eye-off-the-ball and hit the beach! The beach is very steep at that point so they ‘bounced-off’ and managed to turn the boat returning for a second attempt at finishing. This involved going offshore outside the pin end then coming back in again; instead, Temptation went out between the pin and harbour arm. As they sailed around in the strong tide with little or no wind for the next 20mins or so, steadily making way north eastwards, they must have realised their fate was sealed – so close and yet so far away – they retired in sight of their goal.

A short while later Kokomo approached the line from the north and being carried easterly by the tide as they approached. Unfortunately, their calculations were slightly off it appeared their projected rhumb-line was pointing straight at the harbour arm rather than the finish. The race officer had a grandstand view looking down on Kokomo as they struggled to clear of the end of the arm and point in the correct direction, with the amazing view of them pointing forwards but travelling in reverse. Frustrated, they also retired and then as they passed by the ferry terminal the wind started to fill-in…

A few minutes later, boats that were visible on the horizon and had previously appeared stationary, were now some distance apart and moving in differing directions. Some wind had arrived and the game was on.

Silver Fox came in to the finish, following a path so close to the shore that she was parallel to and on the shore-side of the finish line and had to change course to seaward to be able to cross the line.

A few minutes earlier Kereru came up to the line square-on and crossed at the mid-point, a perfect finish. Those who know the skipper, Peter Whittle, will know that he is the person most likely to achieve this impressive feat.

In the end only 3 IRC and 4 SCCH boats managed to complete the race, with 24 arriving safely in Dieppe. The IRC race was won for the 3rd time by Matador skippered by Herve Barrat. Tanga Langa, skippered by Paul Tullett won the SCCH trophy and line honours.

What had earlier appeared to be an all-night vigil for the race officers quickly dissolved as the last few racing boats notified they were retiring from the race.

But the silver lining was the weather was good for the rest of the weekend and an excellent party was enjoyed on Saturday as usual. Our hosts as always made us feel welcome.

Dieppe Dash 2017 – Sailing Instructions Posted

The Sailing Instructions for those boats racing in the Dieppe Dash 2017 have been posted on the Documents page.

Please note it is the responsibility of skippers to download and read the instructions. Hard copies will not be provided.

Dieppe Dash 2017 – Skipper’s Briefing

The Skipper’s Briefing for Dieppe Dash 2017 will be held on Thursday, 27th April at the Brighton Marina Yacht Clubhouse. Come at 18:30hrs to get your skippers packs and to confirm your boat information. The briefing proper will start at about 19:30hrs.

Saturday Night Party

Not long now until DD2017! the long range forecast is looking favourable and the arrangements on both sides of the channel are coming together.

We are very happy to be able to confirm the Saturday night live music again this year. Saturday night is popular with the French club members as well as the English participants. The band is great and we are pleased that we have them booked again for 2017.

Even if you decide to sail home on Sunday its worth staying up late at the club for a really good night out.

The Yacht Club will of course, as always, be the venue for all of the DD2017 shore side activities and will open late on Friday and Saturday evening.

FRIDAY; Cold buffet from 17.00hrs local time, bar open until late

SATURDAY; 13.00hrs local time. Prize Giving, Race Results and Speech’s

SATURDAY EVENING; Party/Live Music 21.00hrs bar open until late

Remember, you have 3 nights free berthing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, however, if you decide to stay longer please speak to Matt or the Dieppe Harbour Master. Please keep coming back to the site for more updates over the coming week.

Dieppe Dash 2017 – Pre-Dash meeting

As in previous years, we are holding a meeting prior to the Dieppe Dash for those boats, skippers and crew who are contemplating or planning to participate in the Dieppe dash 2017. This will be particularly useful for those who have not participated before or have limited experience in crossing the Channel.

The Pre-Dash meeting will be held on the evening of Thursday 16th March in Brighton Marina Yacht Club. Turn up at about 7pm to meet and we will start at 7:30pm. And while you are there, have some food and drink at the yacht club!

The subject of the meeting will include subjects like safety, preparations, route planning, what it is like in Dieppe. We will try to answer any questions you have.

See you there!

Dieppe Dash 2017 – Free Berthing at Brighton

Premier Marinas have agreed to offer berthing at no cost to all competitors of Dieppe Dash 2017 from 22nd April until the date of the Dieppe Dash; a 50% discounted rate will apply to any competing boats berthing at Brighton Marina after the Friday morning and any support boats accompanying competing boats from 22nd April.

To use this offer boat skippers must complete the Berthing Form and submit it to Brighton Marina Yacht Club – not Premier Marinas. The Berthing Form can be downloaded from the Documents page.

Dieppe Dash 2017 is open!

Online entry for the Dieppe Dash 2017 is now open. Click on the Online Entry link for access.

The Notice of Race is also available and can be viewed or downloaded from the Documents page.

Dieppe Dash 2017 dates

Friday 28th April 2017

Preparation for the Dieppe Dash 2017 has already started. The date of the Dieppe Dash 2017 is Friday 28th April. As before we are hoping that online entry will be available from about 1st January 2017. Put the date in your diary! News of plans and preparations will be posted here when available.

The event itself will run over the weekend with social activities on the Friday and Saturday in Dieppe.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Dieppe Dash 2016 summary

For the sixth Dieppe Dash event, in the week before the event the organisers had concerns that the weather forecast suggested strong winds that might deter some participants, but also make starting the race of the event more difficult.

In the event, 38 boats entered although a number of boats withdrew even before the day of the event because of injuries sustained either by the boats themelves – or the skipper!

By the time of the skipper’s briefing, the weather forecast had improved though there was much discussion about whether the improvement was sufficient.  A few mlore boats decided not to risk it.  The worst of the weather was due to pass through before the start.  But there was likely to still be enough swell as the start to make sitting in a committee boat to start the race uncomfortable.  So for the first time in the Dieppe Dash, the decision was made to have a shore-based start.

In the end about 26 boats set out on the Friday morning and only 4 turned back. The rest all successfully arrived in Dieppe – 8 in the rally fleet, 9 in the IRC race and 5 in the SCCH race.  The wind forecast turned out to be correct with most wind in mid-channel – 25 knots gusting up to 30 – but then calming down towards the French side.  Fortunately it did not die completely so all boats arrived in a perfectly respectable time.  And the waiting organisers managed to leave their posts before darkness came – a bonus for them.

The first boat across was the first of the Prima 38’s Bare Knuckles from Eastbourne, skippered by Brian Tugwell, and finishing in 7 hours, 52 minutes and 45 seconds.   But it was not until the prize giving on Saturday that the rest of the awards were realized.

The IRC race was a French one-two with Matador, led by Herve Barret, winning first place and Bigaro, skippered by Christophe Malandrin, coming second.  In fact only 90 seconds separated second and fourth place.  Third was Bare Knuckles and just missing out on a podium place by only 39 seconds was Concession, a Contessa 26 owned by Graham Walton – the smallest boat in any of the fleets.

The SCCH race was won by Pleiades from Eastbourne, owned by Charles Erb.  And just to make it an extra special day, it was also Mrs Erb’s birthday – one of those important birthdays with a zero at the end.  Charles admitted before the race that the forecast was for the ideal conditions for his boat – a Westerley Ocean 43.  But when the result was announced he face told us that he did not believe he had actually won.  Second place went to another French boat, Foule Sentimentale led by Xavier Villain. In third place was Alan Salvidge on Ascent.

An additional prize was given – the Spirit of the Dash – to Stephen Pilkington of Luna Bay.  Stephen, based in Eastbourne, originally entered the SCCH race and attempted to get to Brighton on Thursday, in time for the skipper’s briefly.  But Luna Bay was one of two boats that did not manage to get around Beachy Head into the wind in sufficient time and had to turn back.  Instead he departed from Eastbourne as a rally boat – doing it single-handed – although motoring a fair way we hear.  But so glad that he made the effort and was rewarded for it.  All the other rally boats also found they had something to collect at the prize-giving.

Saturday in Dieppe was a beautiful day with glorious sunshine and then a great party with live music in the yacht club in the evening.  A number of boats left the following day attempting to sail back home in more sunshine – but quickly put their engines on as the wind did not pick up for a few hours.

Dieppe Dash 2016 photos posted

The photos that were taken at the Dieppe Dash 2016, including those that were shown at the prize giving, have now been posted on this web-site on the Gallery.

Dieppe Dash 2016 – Social Events in Dieppe

As part of the Dieppe Dash 2016 a number of social events are being planned in Dieppe.

On arrival in Dieppe, we hope there will be a buffet available in the Cercle de la Voile de Dieppe (Dieppe Yacht Club) – until food runs out!  In any case the bar will be open!


This will be held at 13:00 local time (UTC+2) on Saturday 30th April, in the Yacht Club.

Party with Live Music

On Saturday evening, 30th April in the Yacht Club.  The live music will start at about 22:00 local time.  All DD2016 participants welcome.

Dieppe Dash 2016 – Skipper’s Briefing

There will be a Skipper’s Briefing for the Dieppe Dash 2016 held at Brighton Marina Yacht Club on the eventing of Thursday 28th April 2016.  For those who have been before, the Yacht Club has moved – it is now a floating structure accessible from the West Jetty.

A representative of each participating boat is expected to attend the Briefing.  Before the briefing proper, Skipper’s Packs for each boat will be distributed.  This may contain important information.

By the start of the briefing, each boat’s skipper/representative is expected to have done the following:

  • provide a copy of their yacht insurance certificate for the organisers.
  • ensure that the organisers have accurate details of the number of people on the boat and their shore contact.  If the details have changed since submission of their event application, they must submit the new details on a Sea Safety Registration Form that can be downloaded from the Documents page of the website.
  • Register the boat contact mobile phone as per the SOSDAS instructions that can also be downloaded from the Documents page.
  • Collected their Skipper’s Pack.

The Skipper’s Packs will be available on the Thursday evening from 18:30 BST – please come as soon as possible after that to make sure that you have adequate time.  The briefing proper will start about 19:30 BST.

Adec Marine Sponsor Dieppe Dash 2016

Dieppe Sailing Rally SponsorWe are proud to announce that safety equipment suppliers Adec Marine will be sponsoring the DD2016.  They will also be offering a 10% discount for all DD2016 participants.

Adec Marine is one of the UK’s leading safety equipment suppliers supplying both commercial and leisure customers all over the world.  They are well known for their great prices, but with a further 10% discount it is really worth visiting their website – www.adecmarine.co.uk .  When ordering use code DIEPPE10 to obtain the discount (the offer will run until june 30th 2016).

Dieppe Dash 2015 summary

46 Boats entered the 2015 Dieppe Dash, 21 in the rally (cruising) fleet and 25 in the racing fleets. Of these 40 actually departed for Dieppe.

The weather forecast was for winds of about 20 knots, lessening as the day progressed. And sure enough there was wind, though a little more than most expected. A number of boats turned back in the first 3 hours. But the majority carried on and were rewarded by the promised lessening of the wind.

Except that the wind died late in the day, on the French side, more than expected. The bigger faster boats managed to get to Dieppe with out stopping. But a number other boats encountered a near calm. For the rally boats that did not prove a problem. They just put on their engines and motored through to find more wind – or the harbour. But the majority of the racing boats were seeking a proper finish and sat it out, even when stationary within sight of the French coast. Eventually a little more wind arrived and they were able to limp across.

But the area of the finish was peppered with fishing buoys. To limit the risk of boats being caught up, the skippers had to keep a good look out. Also the buoy at the outer end of the finish line had to be brought nearer the west arm. In trying to cross the finish quicker, Kereru strayed too near the arm and entered a sheltered area, being overtaken by three boats just 100 metres from the line.

In the end, 10 cruising boats arrived safely in Dieppe, with Saga, the last to arrive, berthing up after a long day, near midnight. 18 racing boats completed the race, though a number of other racing boats did arrive after retiring from the race and putting their engines on. The line honors were claimed by Hurricane who completed in a creditable 8 hours, 32 minutes and 50 seconds. As in last year 3 French boats joined us in the Dash home.

On the Saturday night there was party with a live band, though a number of boats decided not to stay for it with a forecast for strong winds on the Sunday. But those who did stay had a great time.

Pay by PayPal

You can now pay for your Dieppe Dash entry using PayPal. Go to the How to Pay page for details and the link.