As you are no doubt aware the Government has recently announced a phased approach to reducing the restrictions placed to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. The General Committee met on Monday to review how we can allow access to sailing at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club within the current changes to the restrictions. Yesterday the RYA also issued guidelines of what needs to be done to ensure sailing clubs remain safe during the lifting of the restrictions.
Given these two developments the General Committee has drawn up a phased plan of opening the grounds, water and activities of the sailing club. Currently, we have not confirmed the dates for the activities to start but I would like to outline the phases:
Phase 1 – date TBC
The first phase will see us open the water to non-organised activity i.e. if members want to sail as exercise. For this anyone on the water will need to practise the clubs ‘Two Boat Rule’:
From the club bye-laws – rule 16
At other times sailing and windsurfing may only take place when there is available either a competently manned safety craft ready for immediate use or, if there are not more than 8 craft on the water, there are at least two boats sailing and manned by experienced helms over 18 years of age. It is the responsibility of the members wishing to sail to decide whether it is safe to do so.
In addition to this rule we will require
Phase 2 – date TBC - Once the government allows for organised sporting activities to take place.
For the second phase we want to reinstate racing. This will again require all the social distancing rules to be practised, so the club house will remain closed with conditions outlined in phase 1. In this phase we will be providing safety boat cover so more than 8 boats can be on the water. The Sailing Committee is meeting on Monday 18th of May to review how we can achieve this. The scope will also include how to man the rescue boats, duty teams and what types of races can be run. More details will follow after this meeting.
Phase 3 – date TBC – Opening the sailing school / junior training courses.
We do not have enough detail from the Government nor the RYA on when training activities can be restarted, but as soon as this is available we will carry out the risk assessments and draw up a plan to do this as quickly as possible.
To improve safety we are going to increase the numbers of hand sanitising and hand washing facilities at the club. The first of these will be multiple hand sanitiser stations at the club (thank you to Jonathon Leake for sourcing and planning these) and an additional hand washing station outside of the clubhouse, by the boat washing station (thank you to Alexis and the Working Group – Mike J, John O and Mike B). We are planning to put even more washing station on the upper level outside of the clubhouse as we work through the phases of opening the club.
Predicting what will happen with how we come to terms with living with and adapting to Coronavirus beyond these phases outlined is not practical at this time, other than to say we will be able to adapt and do our best to provide sailing at Island Barn in a fun and safe environment.
Finally, I would like to that the General and Sailing Committee for their input and support of this plan.
Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club