Sports teams and individual competitors in the Channel Islands will benefit from extra sailings between Jersey and Guernsey next year, as Condor Ferries adjusts its schedule to put on additional day-trips between the islands.
Following work by Jersey Sport and the Guernsey Sports Commission, consulting with local clubs and associations, four initial dates have been confirmed for Spring 2019.
Sailings on Sunday 10th March and Saturday 6th April have been scheduled to allow day-long activities in Jersey, while Sunday 24th March and Sunday 12th May have been selected for day-trips to Guernsey.
Condor Ferries Chief Executive Paul Luxon said: “We take our responsibility as the main ferry provider in the islands very seriously, supporting the local and visitor economies, so are pleased to be able to help the sporting community through these dedicated sailings next year, all of which can be booked from the end of April.
“The working relationship with Jersey Sport, the Guernsey Sports Commission and the Sports Tourism Action Group has been very positive and we hope to build on these partnerships and further develop inter-island sporting links.”
While it was too late to influence the already-advertised 2018 schedule, the hope is that with this much notice sports will be able to adjust their 2019 fixture schedules to take advantage of the sailings.
"This marks a major step forward for sports groups in the Channel Islands,” said James Tilley, Sports Partnership Manager for Jersey Sport.
“Additional funding from the States of Jersey gave us the opportunity to spend time consulting a wide-range of clubs and associations. March stood out as a key month for ensuring there were day-trip options, and Condor has now put these dates in the schedule with sport very much in mind.
“We’ve worked with the company to make sure the arrival and departure times are as suitable for sport as the tides will allow, with the ferries typically arriving around 9 or 10am and departing between 5 and 6pm.
“We hope teams heading across for inter-insulars will make use of these and there could be a wonderful atmosphere on board with multiple groups all travelling together to proudly represent their island.”
Three of the four sailings have been added to the schedule specifically because of sport, but the general public will also be able to buy tickets for the crossings. The timing of the journey on Saturday 6th April has been adjusted to ensure the boat arrives in Jersey in good time for sporting fixtures.
“The four dates that Condor have come up with so far for 2019 will be a massive help in reinvigorating inter-insulars with lots of spectators now also able to travel to support their respective teams, just like they used to in the past,” added David Piesing, a Guernsey Sports Commission Commissioner and chairman of Guernsey’s Sports Tourism Action Group.
“Additional dates may well be added later in the summer but in order for this very welcome and much needed offering to be sustainable it is vital that sports bodies in both islands buy into it and give it their full support. Condor are going out of their way here to amend their schedules to help Channel Islands sport, and they have been keen to do this for quite some time. The Guernsey Sports Commission and the new team at Jersey Sport will work closely together and also with the sports bodies in each island to try to ensure that it is a roaring success.”
These extra day-trips will be available for booking at the end of April through Condor’s Groups department, on 01202 207 242.