Covid-19 Bulletin: 24

Fri 13 Nov

National Lockdown

Recreational Sailing

Dear fellow members

The position on recreational sailing in this second lockdown is far from clear. After extensive research, debate, risk assessment and discussion, we have come to the following conclusions. They have been formulated to give members the maximum freedom that we think is permissible. (It has taken us a little time to reach our decisions and to advise the relevant Authorities before issuing this Bulletin.)

This is not intended to be patronising, but please do not push these boundaries, doing so will risk us all losing these freedoms.

From 9 am Saturday 14th November until pm Thursday 3rd December 2020

From our research, we know that the Government is keen, for our continuing physical and mental well-being, that recreational exercise (that includes “on the water activity”) takes place, within the current covid-19 safeguarding rules.

In evaluating that prospect, our conclusions are:

  • It will require all of us to behave responsibly if you wish to go boating.
  • There are many grey areas in this which are open to interpretation, so our approach is to ensure we do not introduce any unnecessary risk to you, our members, and that the Club’s reputation within the wider community is not put at risk.
  • We are in very unusual times, and as such, in order to be true to the above principles, the following will apply during this current Covid Lockdown (until Thursday 3rd December 2020):

You can

  • Come to the Club to perform essential maintenance and checks on your boat
  • Arrange for a contractor to work on your boat
  • Use the toilets if it is urgent, but please wipe down all contacted surfaces with the cleaning kit provided after use
  • Come to the Club for the essential reason of exercise, whether a walk along the bund wall or to use your boat – you can do this alone or with people from your own household or support bubble (a support bubble is formed when a single person who lives alone joins up with one other household – it is not an excuse to form what has been dubbed “a social bubble”)
  • Launch your boat, dinghy, windsurf, paddleboard kayak from the slipway and take it out of the haven into the harbour
  • Access the beach through the side gate: You can launch your boat through the side gate, but try to keep this to a minimum. You must lock the gate promptly behind you (if this doesn’t happen we will have no choice but to padlock the gate).

You cannot

  • Bring any visitor or non-member into the yard and haven
  • Meet up at the Club with someone from another household or support bubble
  • Meet up with other boats on the water
  • Organise any event, race, training on the water
  • Use the toilets as changing rooms
  • Sleep in your boat overnight

At all times you must apply the normal rules of social distancing both in the yard and on the pontoons. This includes not meeting, socialising or talking to people from outside your household/support bubble.

Any reported breaches of this guidance, which might embarrass the Club and potentially lead to our freedoms being curtailed will have to be investigated by your Flag Officers, in accordance with the Rules of The Club. If you are in doubt, phone the office for advice.

The Clubhouse remains closed including the changing rooms (except for the toilets). The haulout programme continues.

We can responsibly go for a sail, paddle or motor from the Haven.

Please act cautiously and responsibly to avoid putting anyone, or our reputation, at unnecessary risk.

Sailors are requested to sail well within their limits and not venture out in testing conditions, nor conditions that are forecast to significantly worsen.

As always, we will keep all these decisions under review and continue to respond to any clarification or new guidance from the government.

Please be mindful that this facility may need to be withdrawn at short notice should the relevant Authorities require.

On a personal note, may I wish you my best regards and thank you for your continuing support and please “keep the comments coming in…”