The Howth Yacht Club’s delayed WAVE Regatta will see the ICRA National Championship absorbed into the biennial block-buster event over the 11 to 13 September 2020.
Wave Regatta Organising Committee Chairman and former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey was completely frank in outlining the challenges which he and his colleagues have been facing in re-structuring their programme in the age of COVID-19.
Re-designing of the Regatta for 2020 has centred around the provision of safety for competitors.
Inevitably this has meant that there will be tight restrictions on visitors this year, with the result that the after-sailing entertainment program will be significantly curtailed.
They are preparing to deal with competitor and visitor registration in respect of contact tracing obligations, as well as aligning with governmental and Irish Sailing guidelines and precautions.
Competitors and visitors to the event will very quickly realise it is a different experience to the last time round two years ago.
In addition to the provision of specially-designed sport facial masks for all competitors, the Wright Hospitality Group the organising team and Howth YC will provide a unique and innovative hospitality food and drinks system, maximizing the use of the huge open space that the club forecourt provides.
In addition they will be encouraging crews to utilise their boats on the marina, and for teams to remain in their own groups after racing.
Daily online registration for teams and visitors to this club will be de rigeur by September, as will the extensive hand-washing and social distancing protocols.
Other COVID-led innovations include a novel pared-back style of prize-giving, thereby avoiding the old-style awards system of large and crowded groups with exhausting and unreasonably extended ceremonies.
In considering this, some may well assert: “About time, too”. So who knows, but we may even be setting a new and welcome trend in our sport.
The WAVE Regatta was originally scheduled for the end of May 2020.
Over 150 yachts took part in the inaugural Wave Regatta in 2018.