Guernsey Press

Captain still hopeful after British Championships postponement

ELITE rowing is set for a long-awaited return to Channel Islands waters this season – despite a temporary setback.

Sark to Jersey champions TPA in action at last week's Channel Seaways Sprint. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 33224274)

Jersey seemed ready to host the British Offshore Championships on 1-2 June and several very competitive Guernsey crews were keen to take advantage of that.

However, British Rowing have now announced that the championships have been pushed back until autumn ‘to give more people the opportunity to race’.

Guernsey Rowing Club captain Ben Vaudin has, thankfully, received indications that the rescheduled championships will still take place in Jersey.

‘Everybody’s disappointed that the race was postponed, especially at such short notice,’ he said.

‘We also feel sorry for our counterparts in Jersey who have

been gearing up to organise the event.

‘The silver lining is that they have moved it to the autumn and initial indications from people in British Rowing is it will be some time in October and they are planning the event in Jersey. There’s still potential for crews to go over and compete in that.

‘It gives them more time training for the short format, and more time for other crews that thought it was a bit soon to try out the style of racing that’s going to be there.’

The brief nature of the racing – 4km for heats and 6km for finals – and standing beach starts make it an unfamiliar challenge for Sarnian rowers.

But Vaudin still believes Sark to Jersey champions TPA would be ‘in with a shot’ and has also backed the other interested Guernsey crews, including Le Mont Saint Ladies and a new mixed quad.

‘Like anything, it depends who else turns up on the day, but we’d like to think we’ll give ourselves a decent showing.’

The planned return of major championships to CI waters raises another question: could Guernsey host another big event in the future?

After all, the World Coastal Championships took place here in 2006.

‘Obviously, the planning and logistics involved in putting something like that together is a little bit tricky,’ Vaudin said.

‘But certainly if it goes well [in Jersey], there’s no reason why we couldn’t.

‘We’ve certainly got history in terms of hosting those events.

‘It would be great to host something like that over here again.

‘We’ve certainly got the geography for it when you look at the east coast – you can put on some really exciting races over those kind of distances.’