Back to Racing… but not as we know it!

Dear Members

Firstly, thank you all for your patience in these difficult times.

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to organise any racing yet this year but with lockdown rules having recently changed from 2m to 1m+ and with the RYA very recently having confirmed that the government does not feel that a sailing race would breach the guidelines relating to social distancing both the Main Committee and Sailing Committee feel that we could launch and retrieve the safety boat under certain conditions and thus begin to run some racing.

The current Government guidance is that we should only gather outdoors in a group of up to six people from different households, whilst following social distancing guidelines. However, this only applies whilst onshore. Therefore, whilst a club is being guided to keep activity onshore to groups of 6 or fewer, we are permitted by law to organise activity for an unlimited number of boats afloat.

However, the RYA is urging clubs to be “Considerate and Conservative”. Members are asked to be responsible for their own decisions dependent on their own circumstances as to whether they wish to participate in racing at this unusual time. We will not race in anything more than F4.

So we intend to start a series on Sunday 12th July at 11.00am (further start times for July and August in Appendix)

I would not want to describe the racing as “informal” because we would expect, for example, that the normal rules of racing to apply, but we cannot run it in the way we have all come to enjoy.

But if you intend to take part, I would urge you to take into account the following :-

  • The clubhouse and changing rooms/showers will not be open and there will be no bar or galley service
  • Access will only be possible to the disabled toilet downstairs, which should NOT be used as a changing room
  • The Annex will be open for retrieval of kit, but should not be used as a changing room
  • With regard to getting kit out, like the start pole, ramps, buoys etc. the same people that get them out should put them away
  • Hand sanitiser gel and sanitising cleaners will be available at various locations around the Club and should be used
  • Racing will take place an hour or so (2 hours at most) either side of low tide to make launching and recovery as easy as possible with the minimum number of people
  • We will not have a duty rota so will need to rely on volunteers and the safety boat will have to be staffed by two people from the same household. The race office will also have to be staffed by two people from the same household, or by one person who is willing to try to cope on their own. I would therefore very much welcome you to get in touch with Simon Mathews asap if you are willing to volunteer at
  • We will do our best, via the Race Officer, to keep a note of all who attend for the purposes of “track and trace”. With this in mind, the Club must be notified should anyone become unwell, to allow possible contacts to be notified
  • The club boats will be available as usual and members who normally sail together but are not in the same household might want to note this

With regard to the racing itself we will need to keep things simple, and to avoid as far as possible people touching the same objects so :-

  • We won’t require you to sign on, but would very much appreciate you notifying the Race Officer if you are sailing and/or racing
  • We will keep the course simple
  • We will have one start and average lap racing (like on a typical Wednesday), but two races back-to-back
  • We won’t race on Wednesdays for the time being, because few tide times fit well and this will mean there will be much more than 72 hours between different safety boat crews and Race Officers having to touch any equipment.

It would be useful to know how much interest there is in racing under these circumstances. Could you also please get in touch with Simon ( if you do intend to sail to give us an idea of how many are likely to take part?

I realise that some of you might not want to race under the above conditions and I am sorry that we are not yet allowed to open all our facilities, particularly the changing rooms and showers, but I look forward to seeing you at the Club as soon as possible.

Sean Dwyer

Commodore 7 July 2020