The course for the Dieppe Dash is basically from Brighton Marina to Dieppe Port.
Between the two ports lie 70 nautical miles of English Channel containing major shipping lanes, westbound to the north and eastbound to the south. The red line on the chart below shows the direct route and the blue lines show a course that crosses the shipping lanes at nearly right angles.
Each boat crosses by the route it finds most appropriate. But the organisers bring to the attention of skippers that Rule 10(c) of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea 1972 states:
A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but if obliged to do so shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) monitor compliance with the regulations and enforce them in law.
Boats in the rally section of the Dieppe Dash have no fixed start time. They leave the environs of Brighton Marina at the time they choose and make their way to Dieppe.
Boats who are racing will normally find the start line is between the race committee boat, Admiral Jack, and the BMYC No. 4 buoy, as shown on the chart below. However if the weather is too adverse for the committee boat to anchor, then the start will be between the grey building on the west arm of the marina and the No. 1 buoy.
If the start of the race is in light winds with an ebb tide, the race organisers may place an additional buoy to be rounded after the start and before proceeding to Dieppe. This is enable boats to cross the start line quickly.
Boats in the rally section of the Dieppe Dash have no fixed finish line. When they arrive at Dieppe port, they enter the post entrance as soon as safe to do so. In doing so they pass to the east of the long arm that protrudes southwards – see chart below. Be aware that the large ferries use the port and sailing boats are advised against trying to enter when ferries are using the entrance or manoevring within. There are a series of lights that change to red when boats may not enter.
Shortly before entering the port, all boats are advised to contact the organisers by VHF on a channel to be anounced at the briefing. This will allow the organisers to direct them to a suitable berth.
Boats that are racing must cross the finish line between the end of the western arm of the entrance and an orange buoy that will be laid due west of the end of the arm – see chart below.
Boats that are racing are advised to contact the organisers on VHF channel 77 about two miles before the finish to ensure there is someone ready to take their finish time. They are also asked to radio in as they cross the finish line to aid identification. Their finish will be acknowledge by radio, not guns or hooters.