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News flash...BB wins Dieppe Dash

News flash...BB wins Dieppe Dash

And that’s not the half of it!

Assembled Thursday night for the Race Briefing at Brighton Marina Yacht Club.  Coq au Vin all round in honour of the event.  Over 20 boats racing plus another 20 or so cruising.  BMYC was humming, but as usual the BB team were last to leave…no more need be said.

Up at 04:30 hrs to prepare the boat, then out of the marina ready for the race start at 07:00. Wind puffing a bit, say f5, but to be honest we were all keyed up for the start so didn’t notice the swell...  After a bit of confusion with the start time which created a ‘practice’ start for us Stewart manoeuvred Brighton Belle into prime position to cross the start line next to the Committee Boat just  after the start gun (just showing off!).


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It was rather exciting handling BB in very close formation with the other race boats climbing up to the windward mark. Found a space to tack to lay the mark, but were now on port tack with a few boats crossing on starboard. I guess one of our competitors was a little intimidated by Brighton Belle’s size and tacked anyway despite having priority and being able to pass ahead if he had wanted (he didn’t get round the mark!). As we rounded the mark and bore away to a close reach Brighton Belle came into her own, with her powerful sails driving her comfortably through the waves we  found ourselves passing boat after boat, except for Hurricane the Elan 450, winners of their class and line honours, but we chased them hard all the way. 

Strictly speaking Hurricane was 20 mins ahead most of the way, but this is a blog and why let the facts get in the way of a good story.  They “sneaked” in just before the wind change, the latter costing BB a late tack and another 25 mins or so.  Still we were all “well chuffed”:  crossed the Channel at nearly 8 knot average, 2nd line honours, and over an hour ahead of the nearest boats who were still “slinking” in at 21:00.  We crossed the line just after 16:00.  Awesome!

Saturday was voted a lie in due to our exertions during the race, so Steve got up at six and Stewart had croissants on the table by eight.  Do these skippers ever sleep?  Most of us went off to visit the famous market.  It’s massive, probably a mile or so of stalls plus the square in front of the church.  Judging by the press of people, most of Normandy comes to buy their provisions for the week.  Great minds think alike.  Both Terry and Stewart returned with melon and chevre for the aperitif at 6 o’clock.  Suitably refreshed all seven of us sat down to a 4 course meal at the Marmite Dieppoise. One of the best meals I have had in a while, in fact superb, and only €55 per head including a couple of bottles (poetic licence again) of Muscadet!  Must have been the company!

Prize giving for the Dieppe Dash took place in the Dieppe Yacht club on the harbour and we collected lots of prizes for being first in Class. b2ap3_thumbnail_bb-at-start.jpg 

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Weather was looking a bit dicy for Sunday, gusting at least f7 and right on the nose for our planned 5 hour hop down to Fecamp.  Also the sand bar at Fecamp combined with low tide at 06:30 on    Monday might have caused a very late start for our crossing back to Brighton.   We opted for a spin out in the bay to show off BB to the sunbathers on Dieppe beach…on closer inspection we were alone.  Can’t think why.  These Dieppois really are light weights: f5-f7, on shore wind, and 10C.  Nobody on the beach to see BB.  Je ne comprends pas ces froggies.

Stewart had organised an ‘open boat’ aboard BB for pre-dinner G&T.  Failed to tell us he had invited all the boats in Dieppe marina.  30 people turned up to inspect the winning yacht, armed with a bottle or tinny each.   (hey they just turned up..marina gossip travels fast - Stewart). Sunny evening and a good party followed by a meal out at La Fregate.

So to Monday.  Another early start, six o’clock off the pontoon.  Rubbing the sleep from our eyes we prised ourselves out of our mooring (long lines fore and aft, and a spring attached to SV Katherine (ozzie 65 foot yacht).  After 3-4 hours of a steady 7 kn the wind started to drop off as predicted and we had a good chug back to Brighton arriving just in time to slip through the lock about five o’clock before the low tide lock out. 

Oh! Nearly forgot the prizes.   BBYC is now the proud owner of the Dieppe Dash trophy.   We decided to award the other Dash giveaways to the Ingmar, Debra and Richard:  first crossing of the Channel and what a way to do it!

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