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Island pride at stake

Island pride at stake

Thursday 18 May 2023

Island pride at stake

Thursday 18 May 2023

The 58th annual Guernsey Jersey Inter-Island Yacht Race will take place next month, with the winners evenly split between the islands over the last ten events.

Run every year for nearly six decades - except during 2020 and 2021 - the event is sponsored by Savills for a second year running, with an agreement to back the race next year too.

Organised by the Guernsey Yacht Club and the St Helier Yacht Club, the event has been a popular fixture on the sailing calendar since 1964 and is considered to be one of the premier sailing competitions in the Channel Islands.

The 2023 event will be held on Saturday 24 June, with keen sailors invited to "get behind the helm and take to the waves".

The race will follow a course starting west of La Collette Marina in St Helier Harbour before crossing the Channel to finish at Castle Cornet.

Martin Priest, Rear Commodore Sailing of the Guernsey Yacht Club, said it promises to be a great event.

“As the largest race in our calendar this event is enthusiastically supported by a complete cross section of the sailing community, with entries including family groups as well as the more serious racing teams."

town harbour boat yachts yacht Guernsey st Peter port tourist tourists boats water sea

Pictured: St Peter Port Harbour.

Mr Priest said: “Such a large and diverse number of participants only serves to enhance the tremendous spirit of inter-island rivalry which exists in sailing, as it does with most local sports. Last year’s event proved immensely popular – making a welcome return following a two year break due to the coronavirus pandemic – and we can’t wait to do it all again. Entries are now open so we’d encourage anyone who would like to enter a crew to sign up as soon as possible.”

Jeff Speller, Commodore of the St Helier Yacht Club, agreed.

“Last year’s event was a huge success – bringing people together for a day of friendly competition and celebrating everything that is so special about our two islands. We are looking forward to this year’s event with even greater enthusiasm and working with our colleagues in Guernsey Yacht Club and Savills to ensure a great spectacle and a memorable challenge.”

More than 50 yachts of all types and sizes took part in the 2022 race, which followed the two year hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic. Guernseyman Mickey Holland won on Majic.

In 2019 top honours went to Jerseyman Tom Hill racing in White Magic. David Yettram of Jersey won the overall title in 2018 in his Wharram Tiki 'Moku', while Rhys Perkins of Jersey won on Abracadabra in 2017.

A four year winning streak for Guernsey predates that run of success for Jersey.

Martin Ozard won on Blacjack in 2016, and Roger Martel on Kaya in 2015. John Falla came first in 2014 on Banjaard and Aden Clark in 2013 aboard Blue Jade.

Jersey boats The Dogs and Jackana won in 2012 and '11 respectively. 

Stuart Leslie, Head of Residential Sales at Savills Guernsey, said the firm is delighted to be involved once again.

“Sailing is a favourite past time of many islanders and when the opportunity arose to sponsor the yacht race we were only too happy to lend our support. This year’s plans are now in full swing and we can’t wait to welcome everyone out onto the water,” he said.

“As an office we are always keen to support local events whenever we can and it doesn’t get any bigger than the inter-island yacht race. The event brings together so many people from both islands and there is always a fantastic atmosphere and great community spirit.”

Pictured top: Yachts in the 2018 inter-island race.

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