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Sir JAMES Knott and Gary Burgess are to be commemorated this weekend as their names will be shared by two donated quad rowing boats at the Jersey Rowing Club.

The ‘Gary Burgess’ has been kindly donated by The Jersey Community Foundation, with funds from the Channel Island Lottery, whilst the ‘Sir James Knott’ donated by the eponymous Sir James Knott Trust. The naming ceremony of these two community boats will be attended by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton who is on the board of Trustees of the Sir James Knott Trust and The Bailiff of Jersey, Sir Timothy Le Cocq as Patron of The Jersey Community Foundation. Gary Burgess, the much-loved journalist, and community hero’s family will also be attending the ceremony.

Gary Burgess was awarded the The Bailiff’s Silver Seal in the presence of the Lieutenant-Governor Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton and a small number of guests last year, before his death in early 2022.

Two other new JRC boats, the Willis Brothers doubles boat, named after Adrian and Martin Willis, and the singles boat Max Blandin, will also be named.

The event will start at the Rowing Club on Saturday June 11th at 13.45, when The Bailiff is due to arrive, with His Excellency arriving at 14.00, just before the naming ceremony at 14.10pm. Following the ceremony, the two boats will race at 3pm, pitting Bailiff and Lieutenant-Governor against each other in a friendly maiden-voyage sprint for the two newly-named boats, as part of the Boat Show.

After the race the two quad boats will have a change of crew, then row to the Gunsite to pick up the 2022 Commonwealth Games baton at 16:10 and row it on the relay leg to West Park. On Sunday morning, the boats will race again from 9.40 am, with crews including novices and masters.

The ‘Gary Burgess’ was funded by The Community Foundation as a boat that can be used by anybody with basic skills for free. It provides those without means to buy or hire their own boat access to the sport.

John Searson of the Jersey Rowing Club said:

“The Jersey Community Foundation’s boat and the Sir James Knott are the most used boats at The Jersey Rowing Club. They are taken out four or five times more than any other boat here. In May alone, for example, they were used more than 60 times creating over 300 rowing sessions. The club are pleased to be able to offer this service to anyone with the skills and delighted that interest and accessibility of the sport is growing and indeed being enabled by the Club, with the generosity of these Charities.”

Anna Terry, CEO of the Jersey Community Foundation said:

“We were delighted to award funding to the Jersey Rowing Club to enable our community to freely use this boat. For a boat designed to lift community spirit and enable greater access for all, we can think of no greater name than the ‘Gary Burgess’ and we are grateful to his family for allowing The Club the opportunity to honour him in this way.”

His Excellency and The Bailiff go head-to-head in a boat race that commemorates and honours two of Jersey’s much-loved characters.

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