Border controls rock Sark to Jersey rowing race

LANDING restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19 have slashed the number of entries for this year’s Sark to Jersey.

Guernsey crews entering the 2021 Sark to Jersey rowing race will not be permitted to set foot on the beach after crossing the finish line at Bonne Nuit Picture: PETER MOURANT
Guernsey crews entering the 2021 Sark to Jersey rowing race will not be permitted to set foot on the beach after crossing the finish line at Bonne Nuit Picture: PETER MOURANT

Just six Guernsey boats, compared to the usual 15 to 20, are currently expected to compete in the race, with crews put off by the logistics of not being able to set foot on the sand at Bonne Nuit.

The event was cancelled last year because of the pandemic, having been rocked by weather-related problems in 2017 and 2018.

Jersey Rowing Club vice captain Gary Briggs said: ‘This year the number of Guernsey crews is noticeably lower and that’s because they are unable to land in Jersey – we can run the event but they can’t set foot on Jersey soil.

‘It’s a fantastic event that has been running for over 50 years. It’s one of the key reasons that people take up coastal rowing.’

Jersey has about 20 entries so far, with more due to come in. This is also slightly down because crews have struggled to train with the disruptions caused by Covid.

Until the middle of March they were unable to have more than one person in a boat.

There is often international interest in the race, with crews from the UK, Holland and France having taken part previously. But that again cannot happen this year.

The race is scheduled for Saturday 10 July, with reserve dates on Sunday 11, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July.

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