Covid -19 Update Budworth Starts phase 3 of a return to racing
Published 16:25 on 13 Jul 2020
Phase 3: Let's go racing!
First of all, thanks to everyone who completed the recent survey. We received 139 responses with a clear majority in favour of fleet racing (73%) but concerns were raised that many are unable to sail either due to sailing a double hander with a member outside their household (25%) or that they would prefer to have rescue cover (17%). There were also many valuable comments that are helping us to shape and put in place the next steps, but it goes without saying that our response has to be in line with the latest guidance. Fortunately, this is changing and the latest RYA advice now allows clubs to organise racing, albeit with certain restrictions.
As a result, we plan to start organised formal fleet racing from Saturday, 18th July. To understand the implications of the new approach we are planning to pilot the racing for two weekends before, hopefully, returning to formal club racing. The pilot will allow us to understand the demand and test the processes which will be reviewed in order to decide the next steps. The approach we have taken will allow us to race whilst still observing the social distancing guidance.
The actions reflect current thinking but will be updated in line as the situation changes. Underpinning this approach is an assumption that each individual who attends the club will take responsibility for their own safety, will observe the social distance guidance and will notify the club should they experience covid symptoms following their attendance.
We believe that, under the current government, Sport England and RYA guidance, the club is 'Covid secure' but we will continue to monitor this as the guidance is ever changing and we will take steps to ensure that we remain secure and that our risk assessment is up to date and in line with current thinking.
The proposed approach
The initial plan is to split the fleets into two flights with Flight A sailing on the 1st Saturday followed by Flight B on the Sunday. The following weekend the flights will switch with Flight B sailing on the Saturday. The raceboards will also take part in the fleet racing and will race on the Saturday. Formal racing for the Raceboards will also recommence on Tuesday 21st July, (see details in the attachment).
The weekend racing sessions will be from 1pm to 6pm and each flight will sail three back to back fleet races (ie dinghies will remain on the water between each race) from 2pm. There will be an OD operating from the PRO box and two ribs providing Rib Support with one member in each unless they are from the same household in which case there can be two crew. The course will be on a board displayed on one of the ribs.
Masks and gloves will be available in each rib, and each rib must be disinfected before and after use to allow it to be used again within 72 hours. Disinfectant spray and the hose pipe will be available for this purpose. The OD must also take responsibility to wipe down the OD box before and after use.
Thanks to some sterling work from Chris Hearn, sign-on for the races will be now carried out on-line on the website with the option to sign in either for each race or all races. Details of the sign-on instructions will be issued shortly and as long as you have signed on prior to the race start you will be registered for the race in the Race Management System.
The flights will be as follows with a start sequence for each fleet (although some fleets may share a start):
Flight A: Laser/ Solo / Snipe / Firefly (First race 2pm Saturday 18th July)
Flight B: RS200 / GP14 / Junior (First race 2pm Sunday, 19th July)
Unfortunately, the social distancing guidance still do not permit double handed sailing unless from the same household. However, double handed dinghies can be sailed single handed.
One aspect driving the need for two groups is the need to manage the number of people on-site and, for the first two weekends, we need to restrict the total number of people on-site to 30 for each racing session. We have now changed the slot system from 18th July and there will now be a total of 30 slots for all sailing sessions, but each slot is now for an individual rather than a household in order to provide more opportunity to sail. The difference now is that to comply with the track and trace guidance, all who plan to turn up to sail or spectate (eg guardians and family) will now need to book a slot beforehand. When booking a slot, we ask that you indicate whether you are racing, social sailing or spectating. We recognise this can create issues and we are monitoring the guidance as we are keen to improve this situation as soon as we are able.
The racing for the 1st two weeks will be a chance to get back in the groove and will be an excellent practice for the subsequent weekends where we plan to return to a 'main points' style series (although the series name and duration is yet to be confirmed).
The current duty rota has been effectively put aside and, for the racing to be successful, we are dependant on suitably qualified volunteers both to drive ribs and take on OD duties. Let me know if you wish to volunteer and we'll draw up a rota for the immediate future.
We also plan to re-open the bar but, initially, this will be restricted to the racing sessions. Drinks will be available from the bar at the end of the racing but the bar lounge (and the clubhouse apart from the disabled toilet) will remain closed to all members. We will position a table at the patio doors where drinks can be ordered from the bar member and paid for using a contactless card reader. Nobody apart from the bar member will be allowed in the bar or lounge area. Drinks will be delivered back to the table and should be consumed outdoors and all glasses and bottles to be returned to the table.
Again, this is dependent on volunteers being available to man the bar so please let me know if you are willing to assist.
Finally, we wish to extend the opportunity for juniors to sail more by allowing them to join the better sailing sessions on a Thursday evening and Saturday morning, where rib support and informal advice is available. Please book a session as you do now. We are also assessing training options and are keen to run training as soon as we can, but as of now, dates and detail are yet to be confirmed.
We appreciate that the above does not address all the concerns raised in the survey, but we are keen to get back to normal as soon as possible and as and when the current constraints are relaxed, we shall do so.
Thanks for your support,