Dieppe Dash 2019 – summary

Often when racing the English Channel from Brighton, there appears to be plenty of wind on the English side, but the wind dies towards the French side, usually as slower boats are arriving.  The Dieppe Dash 2019 was the opposite.

The race started at 7:30 BST so that bigger boats could leave the harbour after a spring low tide.  An upwind rounding buoy was set but in light winds, only two boats rounded it before the wind died and the tide was taking boats the wrong side. Several boats anchored for a while, but more abandoned the event.  Which turned out to be a pity because the wind did pick up and after that steadily increased, giving a cracking downwind sail to Dieppe.

Nigel Pipe’s new boat, Temptress, was the first boat round the buoy and got so far ahead that it was never overtaken, although it was being slowly caught by Robert Stiles on Diamonds4Ever.  In the end there was only 70 seconds between them with Temptress getting a special prize for Line Honours and the best start.

In the IRC race, Temptress was easily first on handicap, Diamonds4Ever were second and John Severs’ boat Summation got third place.

In the SCCH race, Claude Weisang’s boat, Carabin, was deemed to be OCS which gave them a 5% time penalty.  So although they crossed the line first, the first place went to Xavier Villain on Foule Sentimentale, with Carabin second.  Stephen Pilkington on Luna Bay came third and was the last boat to arrive at 22:22 BST.

So, the race finish team were delighted to able to retire to the bar well before midnight.

16 rally boats left Brighton at various times. One boat started before midnight and several set off before the low tide.  Most of them benefitted from the increasing wind and had some good sailing at some stage.  The conditions particularly favoured Gilla with its unusual junk rig and they had a cracking sail over. All 16 arrived successfully in Dieppe, with a mixture of sailing and motoring.

It was also nice that some social, non-sailing, members of the Yacht Clubs came over on the ferry to Dieppe to participate in the social events. So, there was a good club atmosphere in the Cercle de Voile de Dieppe.  As usual, we were given an excellent welcome by the Dieppe club and port, with a buffet on arrival and also at the prize-giving and live music from an excellent jazz band on Saturday night.