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Guernsey Ports gears up for summer

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Thursday 28 March 2024

Guernsey Ports is looking ahead to a busy spring and summer across St Peter Port Harbour, with 25 sailing events and regattas already booked in, and the first cruise ship of 2024 due to arrive in local waters next week.

Final preparations for the boating season are taking shape, following a busy programme of winter maintenance to key facilities.

This involved pressure washing all deck planking, improvements to pontoon fendering and around-the-clock care to more than 1,600 moorings. On several occasions, the swift actions of marina staff prevented leisure vessels from sinking following storm damage.

Calmer recent conditions have enabled the team to start preparing for the peak season.

The walk ashore pontoons, which link the Swan pontoons to the Crown Pier for visiting yachtsmen, have been craned back into the water, and the local layby pontoons will be refloated in the coming days.

Harbour Master Captain David Barker said there are many highlights to look forward to this summer.

"It is set to be one of our busiest summers for sailing regattas in recent years. The first major event will be the Tresco Trophée, a sailing race from Morlaix to Guernsey, which will bring in up to 100 visiting yachts and hundreds of visiting sailors.

"From 17th to 19th May, the Crown Pier and Victoria Marina will host the Guernsey Boat Show, which is an important showcase for local marine traders.

"Other popular events during the summer months include the Inter Island Yacht Race on 21st June and the Tour de Ports de la Manche, arriving on 9th July for several days, which is another event that typically attracts 500-600 French visitors to our island."

Before that, cruise ships will become a regular sight again in local waters. "Our first visiting cruise ship, Hanseatic, is due to arrive here on 7 April," said Captain Barker.

"There are currently over 70 cruise ships booked in over the coming months, with the largest of those being the Dutch ship Nieuw Statendam, which is due to arrive on 18 April with around 3,200 passengers. We are still seeing enquiries coming in and with the weather set to improve next month, we expect to see lots of visitors coming ashore."

With an unsettled weather forecast over the bank holiday weekend, Captain Barker expects that many boat owners will wait a little longer before getting back on the water.

"We have fantastic cruising grounds within the Bailiwick and as the weather improves it will be a pleasure to see our local waters thriving again with local and visiting leisure craft."

As we head into the peak season, Guernsey Ports is currently recruiting seasonal Marina Attendants, whose job includes welcoming and registering visiting leisure boats, taking payments for their stay, guiding them to their moorings and assisting with any queries.

For more information, contact Assistant Harbourmaster Kieran Higgs by email kieran.higgs@ports.gg

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