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Home > News > Reopening of the Club for Sailing

Reopening of the Club for Sailing

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Published 00:00 on 15 May 2020


In the light of the latest government and RYA advice on using watersports to take advantage of outdoor exercise, the club will be open to members wishing to sail their boats from Sunday 17th May 2020.

We are living in unprecedented times that are affecting every aspect of our daily lives and as your committee, it is vital that we keep our members updated on the Club's position in the light of the developing COVID19-virus pandemic and the latest Government announcements and advice from Public Health England.

Our primary and over-riding concern is and must continue to be the safety of our Members and our visitors.

We have been monitoring advice from the Royal Yachting Association, the Government and Public Health England and also the response of other sailing clubs.

It is clear that there are still many challenges that lie ahead.

We recognise that some members want to resume sailing and continue to derive all the benefits of open air sport over the coming months and we have tried to accommodate these desires.

We are therefore writing to inform you of the key measures that we have put in place to protect your health until further notice. Please stay at home and do not come to the club if you have:-

a high temperature this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

a new, continuous cough this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

a loss of taste or smell This may be a prelude to other symptoms

The committee will continue to monitor Public Health England advice and any Governments updates. We will implement any suggested measures, when and if required and we will issue updates as regularly as possible to explain our actions by email and via the club website.

At present our position is as follows :

1. The Clubhouse

Barnt Green Waters Ltd have asked that we restrict access to the clubhouse with immediate effect. The toilets will remain available to use and you must use this facility for regular handwashing in line with advice from Public Health England. The changing rooms should not be used for any other reason than to provide access to the toilets. Sailing kit, clothes and personal effects should not be left in the changing room if you visit the club.

The changing rooms will be cleaned down after an appropriate period of time has elapsed after their last use. Obviously this closure means that Wednesday suppers will also not be available.

2. Club racing

We are mindful that some members will wish to continue to sail during these challenging times. However, since we cannot guarantee to reliably provide an officer of the day and rescue crews, the duty roster and formal club racing will cease with immediate effect.

Members who wish to sail may do so but will need to organise their own safety arrangements (which can include buddying) and appoint an officer of the day (if needed) from those present on the day. Please make sure that you follow guidance on social distancing.

The rescue boats are available for members to use, but social distancing must be respected unless there is an emergency. If the crew is not from the same family,use two rescue boats. If necessary take the rescued sailor ashore and recover the dinghy later.

Rescue boats must be disinfected after use ready for the next user. Anti viral spray will be provided in the rescue boat shed. This also applies to members using CLUB BOATS and equipment

The accident book and a first aid kit are also located in the rescue shed.

The club rule has always been (as the RYA guidance states) The decision to go afloat is the personal responsibility of the sailor.

If you get into difficulties you may not rely on others to come to your rescue although of course we must all be conscious of others safety. You must be able to make an assessment of the weather conditions and your ability to cope.

In addition to wearing bouyancy aids sailors should consider the use of a masthead float. This greatly improves the ability to self rescue in the event of a capsize as it prevents the boat going turtle and the mast getting stuck in the mud.Good chandlers sell these for about £30 or a plastic container may suffice.

We expect that members that wish to sail will adhere to the health guidance issued by the Government and Public Health England. Social distancing is an important condition of resuming sailing and will be monitored. If excessive numbers endanger safety we will introduce a booking system through sailing club manager.

3. Open meetings and training events

All open meetings and training events with effect from are postponed until further notice. This is consistent with the most recent guidance from the Royal Yachting Association. Sadly, this means that we will not host the Solo, Enterprise and Lark and Optimist Open meetings on the advertised dates. The Seavets and Sailboard Open meeting has already been cancelled.

We will take a view in due course whether this period needs to be extended to include Open meetings currently planned for later this year.

4. Committee and sub-committee meeting

All planned meetings will be changed from face-to-face to virtual "electronic" meetings. The committee meeting to formulate this statement was on Zoom hosted by Andy Paton.

5. Member Subscriptions

It is clear that BGSC will, once again, experience some challenging financial times over the next few months and impacts that will stretch into next year and possibly beyond. All of this will further erode our cash resources following those experienced due to the drainage of the reservoir during 2018.

We appreciate that the current situation will inevitably have impacts on all members but at this time, we do not plan to make refunds to those that have paid their subscription and boat registration fees for this year.

However, we will consider what future concessions we might be able to offer, subject to our financial position when we can resume club activities.

6. Fishermen. We share the lake with the fishing club, and our future is reliant on this joint enterprise. We anticipate the most popular times for sailing will be Sundays and Wednesday evenings (as in the past) and we have exclusive use of the sailing foreshore (between the two red posts) at those times.At all other times please respect the fishermens space.They will not be fishing off the launching slips.

7.Nature We are fortunate to be able to sail on a beautiful SSSI and for many members this is a major benefit of belonging to this club in particular. The north shore and the creek are popular for breeding birds until August. Please avoid this area.


This position will obviously need modifying over the coming weeks, and probably months, in the light of future developments.

Within the obvious current constraints we have a basis on which to build positive and beneficial activities for the members.

The club will come through this and we should look forward to later in the year when we can have fun again without the oppressive threat of this largely unknown and unforeseen cloud hanging over us.

An optimistic view is that we`ll be able to enjoy the full benefits of the club later in the year. We can but hope.

In the meantime your committee will be working hard to revitalise the club as soon as conditions permit.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Bob Suggitt

on behalf of the BGSC Committee


Last updated 15:21 on 23 November 2021

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