Dieppe Dash 2014 summary

6 hours, 51 minutes and 20 seconds!

Yes that was the course record set by Mad Max in 2014.

The 2014 Dieppe Dash was remarkable in a number of ways. And those who participated had a memorable time. A record number of boats entered the event with 50 boats signing on. Of these 49 actually departed for Dieppe and all of those arrived safely. Roughly half of them were racing and half cruising. And of the racing boats, 13 were in the IRC fleet and 12 in the SCCH. And this year 3 French boats joined us in the Dash home.

The weather forecast was for northeasterly winds starting at about 11 knots and building to 18 knots. The direction was correct but the wind speeds recorded by some boats reached 30 knots and this accounted for the remarkable sustained boats speeds achieved. It is unlikely that the record will be beaten for a number of years! And the last boat to arrive came in at about 10pm – fantastic start to the weekend.

The crossing was so fast that the race officers, Colin & Geoff, struggled to keep up. Having started the race in Brighton they caught the ferry but when they arrived in Dieppe around 4pm French time, more than half the racing fleet had already finished. Fortunately the advance party of Matt & Denise were able to monitor the finishing boats. But the finish line buoy only made it into position about half an hour before it was needed.

The president of the Cercle de la Voile de Dieppe (yacht club), Claude Weisang, was on hand with a camera and took some excellent photgraphs of some of the boats finishing and surfing through the harbour entrance. A number of these pictures were shown at the prize giving and are available on the gallery of this website.

As before the finishing boats were welcomed by a berthing party and a buffet in the yacht club. The buzz and excitement of the crews was obvious.

The weather on Saturday was glorious with all day sunshine. The prize-giving on Saturday lunch again had an amazing buzz. Each cruising boat that attended got a prize. The Line Honours trophy went to Andy Williams and Max Max, the SCCH trophy went to Margaret Hickmott-Stapley and Manic with the IRC trophy being won for the second year running by Mark Jephcott and his modified 1720 sportsboat Haras. The Sailing Book award, an award given intermittently to a boat that might wish to improve, has in the past been awarded by Peter Vaughan of Pean II who went on to win their class last year. This year the award was affectionately given to Roy Cleeter of Kirsty of Fisherow – a Macwester 28 – who arrived safely at the tail end of the cruising fleet.

On Saturday evening the Dieppe Dashers were treated to live music in the yacht club, courtesy of the Cercle de la Voile de Dieppe.

As has been the pattern in previous years, a number of boats and skippers used the Dieppe Dash for their first crossing of the English Channel. While I suspect they were hoping for less winds, they all coped fantastically. One important element of the Dieppe Dash is the camaraderie and support shared particularly by the cruising boats. When Kirsty of Fisherow finally arrived exhausted, they were guided into their berth and then fed an watered by the Jesstom crew.

So we look forward to see you all next year – and bring your friends as well!

Happy sailing.

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