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  • Writer's pictureTeam OTC

Do You Harbour Dreams of Breaking the Dash Record?


The Official Test Centre is thrilled to be bringing back the legendary Portland Harbour Dash! It’s a great challenge, a great excuse to get the watersports community together and at the same time raise money for an incredibly worthy cause.

Oh, and did we mention the race is on to beat an Olympian’s record, which has stood since 2011? Foiling disciplines have a high chance of smashing Nick Dempsey’s time of just over 16 minutes.

You need to put these dates in your diary!

Keep the weekend free as the call will go out based on the forecast for the event to be held on either the 3rd or 4th of June 2023. There is a suggested entry donation of £25.00, with all proceeds going to the charity.

To enter contact The Official Test Centre (OTC) on 07817 717904.

Will Houghton Foundation

All the motivation you need to step on board with The Dash is knowing the difference your donation will make to the young people who are given life-changing opportunities by charities funded by the Will Houghton Foundation. The foundation funds UK charities that help 14 to 24-year-oldsreach their potential through education and sport.

WHF has been supporting Portland-based Will Mackaness Trust to teach local young people to swim and windsurf since its creation seven years ago.

Will Houghton (pictured above) was an intelligent, loving, inquisitive and motivated man with a love of family, the outdoors, the sea and cycling. He was killed in a road accident while on a training ride near his University in Portsmouth in 2016 aged 20. At the very heart of his Foundation is the wish to keep his shining spirit alive and inspire a new generation of young people to be their very best.

When did the Harbour Dash begin?

The Portland Harbour Dash was founded in memory of Brian Matthews who died in January 1986, the day after his 60th Birthday. Brian learnt to windsurf in 1986 having been taught by Phil Gollop from his original set up in a few lock-ups at the end of Old Castle Road. The concept of the Harbour Dash came about as Brian was a regular sailor from Overcombe, Ringstead or Portland Harbour.

The format of the event is quite simple. It’s a race from Overcombe to Portland Harbour, where you enter the perimeter wall via the North shipping channel and back into the bay via the East shipping channel. It’s then a quick zip back to the beach, finishing at the same point at which you started.

For over 20 years Weymouth Sailing Club member and cruiser class owner (Amorosa) Ade Bugler held the legendary speed record for this event. However, theconditions in 2011 were perfect for Olympic medallist and World Champion Nick Dempsey to mount a challenge to Ade’s record. Nick managed to finally beat this longstanding record by over two minutes.

Let’s all create a wave of support for The Portland Harbour Dash and give it the support it deserves. Tell your friends; spread the word and let’s make 2023 a year to remember for The Dash! All wind sport classes welcome, from windsurfing to winging and kiting.

OTC Director, Tris Best, said, “It’s great to be able to put this legendary local event on once again, and I’d just like to thank the Portland Harbour Authorities for being in vocal support of it. With the revolution that foiling has brought to all watersports, I think the record for The Dash has never been more achievable. Look forward to welcoming everyone to Overcombe in early June and raising some money for such a worthwhile cause.”

Chair, Will Houghton Foundation, Richard Houghton, commented;

“Will learnt to windsurf in Portland Harbour and was never happier than when he was on the water. We are delighted that OTC has chosen to support WHF’s work and look forward to a record-breaking Dash.”

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