Dave Ellis from the club reports:

The race day honours the memory of Steve Dyson, a much-loved member of the club who was tragically taken from us in 2008.

The Dyson Dash typically features a three-race programme off a committee boat course, uniquely with a start line shared with a simultaneous yacht race organised by the Royal Temple Yacht Club in Ramsgate.

This year the Kent coast was becalmed for the whole bank holiday. Nonetheless six yachts motored up from Ramsgate, of which – perhaps carried more by tide than any whispers of wind – three managed to drift back down the coast to cross their finish line off the harbour, in the order Xpedite, Assassins (both IRC class 1/2) and Magnum (Class 3).

Back in Broadstairs, the lack of wind had not deterred over 30 sailors registering for the dinghy race programme – including visitors from other Kent clubs – their entry fees being donated to the Pilgrims Hospice. And when racing was formally abandoned at midday many instead took part in an informal raft race (of sorts) across Viking Bay. With no wind, the sailors instead took to the likes of kayaks, SUPs, surfboards and rig-less Picos and Toppers, propelled by paddles, spades, hands and feet.

Photo credit Adrian Trice

Several boats were discernably OCS at the start, but individual/general recalls were waived as the chaos of countless water fights, sabotages and general failure to observe any rules ensued. The ‘race’ was nonetheless a huge success as everyone in the fleet at some point found themselves (forcibly) capsized and swimming – man, woman and child. And dog.

Yes, perhaps for the first time in the history of sailing, a dog won the day’s premier award – the Two Fat Ladies Trophy, given to the provider of the best on water entertainment, (to explain: Steve’s boat had 88 in the sail number, prompting ARO’s to call each lap, bingo style, ‘Two fat ladies, 88…’ – the name stuck and Steve’s 2000 soon wore the legend in name and motif. Anyway, the dog. Cassie, a black spaniel, joined the race in a kayak but abandoned that, after a short swim, in favour of a paddleboard and while in truth no race winner could be reliably discerned, Cassie, probably alone, was identified as being present at the start and finish.


Photo credit Adrian Trice

The day ended with a buffet and prize-giving back at the packed Broadstairs clubhouse, where the dinghy (non-)sailors were re-joined by the RTYC yachtsmen and women. All proceeds, profits and donations go to the local Hospice.

Over the years since the inauguration of the Dyson Dash over £30,000 has been raised for the Pilgrims Hospice, including over £1600 this year, a fine way to commemorate the life and fun times of a much-missed member of the two clubs.

Broadstairs Sailing Club and Royal Temple Yacht Club are both RYA Recognised Training Centres If you live in the area and would like to join in the fun why not contact them.