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Guernsey Ports gearing up for summer

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, swift action taken to safeguard vessels in the aftermath of the many winter storms. 

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, as have the local layby pontoons.

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. The Silver Endeavour was the first of the season to land on Monday 3th April.

"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 18th 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 unsettled weather continuing into April, 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.