I made a late decision to hop over to Guernsey for Day 1 of the annual inter-insular.  Today (Sat) it involved the seniors, U15s and Minis.  The action had already started when I arrived with the Minis at a drizzly Footes Lane, the boat having been delayed somewhat.  I immediately jumped into action, offering my services as part of the throws officiating; I therefore had a good view of the action.

Hammer-wise Jersey seem to have acquired in Donny Rocket an excellent thrower.  I don’t know his background but he is the first four-turn merchant that I have seen from the islands.  He doesn’t always control them too well but it is impressive stuff.  Also, Catarina Hallden twice broke her PB with which she was pleased.  With (a) a bit of speed and (b) work on her delivery there’s no reason she ought not to put a few more metres on the 32 she achieved yesterday.

We have no one competent in javelin right now with the exception of Josh Plowright, and young Hannah Johnson is promising.  Zane Duquemin, Kathryn Rothwell and Shadine Duquemin eclipsed the little Guernsey had to offer in the shot.  The same talented trio struggled a little in the discus but the conditions weren’t easy.  I was disappointed that the younger throwers forgot much of what we’d worked on in training, though Yuri Pereira did fine and I hope he will continue his good work.

I saw only snatches of the other action.  It was great to see Simon Phelan back in action again, fully fit after a horrendous knee injury a couple of years back.  He high-jumped two metres before having three unsuccessful shots at 2.10m.  Young Chloe Turmel almost claimed a huge scalp in the 1500m but the experienced Louise Perrio just snatched third place in the home straight, Claire Forbes having outrun Sarah Mercier for the win.

The senior men duly lost the Burton Trophy for about the 14th straight year even though Guernsey were without Dale Garland.  But it was a shock to me that our women lost, albeit by only one point.  The Minis were soundly beaten.  However the U15s must have won well as Jersey take a narrow five point overall lead into Day 2.

I sensed some despondency in ADO Andrew Winnie.  He has had several senior athletes disappear in the last year with one or two more reportedly to follow shortly.  And there isn’t a great surge of talent coming through from the juniors right now either.  There are a few of course but none that you would want to push into senior athletics for a couple of years at least.  For my part I’ll continue to play whatever part I can in developing athletes.

The ferry was late again in the evening and I therefore had the pleasure of the company of Spartan President Richard Wilkinson and the Dawkins clan in a mini-crawl of St Peter Port.  The Swan serves a beautiful and hoppy pint of Patois and, considering the 10k tomorrow morning, I probably shouldn’t have had that last one, or the one before that.

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