The annual Harbour Dash will take place this Sunday 11th November, from Overcombe Beach, starting at 11.02am after observing the two minutes silence for Armistice Day.
It is a fantastic windsurfing event that has been running annually in Weymouth for over 25 years. It was founded in memory of Brian Matthews, who died in January 1986, the day after his 60th birthday. Brian learnt to windsurf in 1979, having been taught by Phil Gollop at his original set up of a few lock-ups at the end of Old Castle Road. The concept of the Harbour Dash came about because Brian was always the first for a seafaring adventure, sailing from the harbour to Overcombe or Ringstead regularly. The event has been cared for and nurtured by Norm Petty for the last decade, the prize for the winner being the Brian Matthews Memorial Cup.
The format of the event is quite simple. It’s a race from Overcombe to Portland Harbour, where you dip inside the wall via the north shipping channel, and back out into the bay via the east shipping channel. It’s then a quick zip back to the beach, finishing the same point that you started.
Whilst stuff of legend, the event has always been quite a low-key affair. The title for the fastest time was smashed by Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey last year, having previously being held for more than 20 years by local champ Adie Bugler. The ideal wind direction for a fast run is said to be west to north west, which is potentially on the cards for Sunday, and in addition to the local regulars, we will have a guest star appearance by Formula World Champion Ross Williams this year! Cost for entries is £15 on the day, covering the cost of the rescue boats. Any additional money raised will be donated to local charity – the Will Mackaness Trust, founded in memory of a young windsurfing enthusiast whose legacy has helped inspire and encourage many students from local schools into water sports.