Covid19 Update – 14th May 2020

I hope you are all well and coping in these difficult times.

I am sure many of you will be itching to go sailing, as am I, and I’m sure you will all have heard what the Prime Minister had to say on Sunday and have seen some of the subsequent press coverage. Social distancing of some kind seems likely to be with us for some time but rules will relax further and we will try to be ready and to let you all know what we are planning.

We have discussed the current situation as a Committee and I have been in discussion with the RYA and other West Sussex sailing clubs over the last week or so too.

Given the recent advice from Government we do not consider that it is currently possible to run any organised racing or training at the club, or indeed to open the club. The difficulties associated with launching the safety boats, organising duties and generally using the club preclude it I’m afraid. We will obviously keep this under review and be on the lookout for further statements from the Government as we hopefully move further out of lockdown.

In the meantime I realise that some of you might want to sail on your own. Under current Government guidance this is possible, provided that you can observe social distancing and do it safely. The RYA’s message is to be “considerate and conservative”, the RNLI’s is not in favour of it, and we are not encouraging free sailing, because of the difficulties in doing it from the beach at Lancing. If anybody gets into trouble out there sailing and others have to put themselves at risk to rescue them, it could be damaging for the reputation of our club.

So if you do want to sail we’re not going to attempt to stop you but please bear in mind the RYA’s message of being considerate and conservative and :-

1. Sea state and wind conditions now and forecast for the duration of the sail.

2. Conditions for launching and recovery including the state of the tide.

3. There will be no safety boat.

4. Social distancing.

5. The changing rooms and winch will be unavailable.

6. If you are planning to use the matting, will you be able to put it back in place?

7. Can you get your boat up the beach on your own?

I really hope that I will be able to see you all at the club soon.

Sean Dwyer