The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on sailing events world-wide and as the new sailing season opens in the UK, it is hitting local sailing clubs . . . hard!
With most season opening events now cancelled or postponed, clubs are suffering a lack of footfall and a resulting drop in income, especially for the larger clubs with restaurant and bar facilities.
While most clubs will be open for you to get out on the water in the fresh air and get some exercise, organised racing, especially double-hander sailing, may be restricted or at the members discretion.
Due to the timescale required for organising open meetings and championships, class associations have already taken action to cancel or move events to the later part of the year, hoping that things will improve.
While clubs are following the RYA advice to review their activities and carry out their own risk assessments using the latest guidance on coronavirus, the advice from Government is constantly being upgraded and may require stronger action as the situation changes.
Update 21 Mar: Since compling these snapshots the government has ordered the closure of all Bars, Cafes, Restaurants and Pubs across the UK for an indefinite period.
These snapshot checks around some major UK clubs reveal a general closure of social facilities and cancellation of organised racing activity:
WPNSA – Members of staff on site during normal office hours. Members are welcome to come and sail. Changing facilities available, but cafeteria, Spinnakers Lounge, the Event Hall and classrooms closed. Restrictions in place to end of April. British Sailing Team training continues.
QMSC – Safety cover will be maintained at all times when the water is open. Casual/Social sailing and windsurfing will continue as normal. Sunday Club Racing will take place as usual, Open meetings and open training cancelled until further notice. The galley and bar will be closed until further notice.
GWSC – All Organised Club sailing/training/racing activity is curtailed until 30 April. The office will be physically closed. The Club and Lake will remain open for casual leisure sailing. The clubhouse will be closed, except for the toilets and wash facilities. The showers and changing rooms will not be open.
Plas Heli – Sailing activities will be continued, generally as normal. Plas Heli intends to remain operational, in the first instance and the bar will operate normal hours. Dining tables to be 1m apart, as much as practicable.
HISC – Social Programme & Events are suspended, Restaurant, Snack Bar, Bar, Coffee Bar and Accommodation all closed until further notice. Sailing/racing Programme, Work Parties & Training Courses cancelled until 31 March. Casual Sailing is still available and the changing rooms will be open.
RLymYC – Clubhouse will remain open, but club’s Restaurant and Bar closed forthwith. Canceled all programmed social events on a rolling four-week basis. Working out ways to continue the core Club sailing activities by maintaining a simplified programme of racing, cruising and training events on the water.
Prestwick SC – Decided to “pause” all club organised events until at least the end of April. The clubhouse not be used during this “pause” period. Sailing still possible whilst observing social separation. No safety cover, changing or shower facilities available.
You should check your local Sailing Club and/or Sailing Association website to keep aware of the latest situation which will be under constant review as circumstances change.
More information available here: