Sailing Newsletter – May 2020

Sailing Newsletter – May 2020

Firstly, I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well, and COVID-19 has not caused you too many issues.

As you would be aware, the Club has closed until further notice, but boat owners still have access to the Marina.  The Club has taken the opportunity to undertake some much-needed maintenance work on the deck and Marina.  Boat owners can expect some disruption to access to boats via the marina walkways in the coming weeks as the works progress on the marina arms.  The Club will keep you posted about the works.

Returning to Racing

Australian Sailing has been doing a great job keeping all sailing clubs up to date on the impact of Covid-19 on sailing, and they have been actively involved with all levels of government to plan a return to sailing.  The NSW Office of Sport will not follow the AIS guidelines for a return to sport that were proposed by the Federal Government and will be relying on Health Orders. This will impact positively on a return to sailing.   Australian Sailing has issued  a notice to all sailing clubs, and it can be found online via this link

The document from Australian Sailing is quite comprehensive, and I encourage you to read it.  In summary, the key  points are –

  • A comprehensive Risk Management Plan must be completed.
  • Get in, Sail and get out. Changerooms, canteens and kitchens should remain closed – arrive dressed and ready to sail.
  • Club activities, including racing, can resume as long as the Public Health Order is complied with.
  • Outdoor activities only.
  • Limit activities to small individual groups with a maximum of 10 participants per boat.
  • Practice good hand hygiene before and after sailing.
  • Avoid physical contact.
  • Stay home if you are unwell.
  • Don’t share drinks or towels.
  • Sharing of equipment should be avoided and if necessary, should be kept to a minimum.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 metres where reasonably practicable.
  • Follow the one person per 4 square metres rule ashore to ensure sufficient physical distancing between people.
  • Contact Tracing records must be kept.
  • Educate all participants.
  • Encourage the use of COVIDSafe App whilst at your club.

As you would be aware, we are part of a licenced club and this further complicates a return to sailing as the club operations will be restricted by another set of rules. While the path has been somewhat cleared for a return to sailing,  there is a considerable amount of work that must be completed so that we comply with the Health Orders and ensure we are undertaking Covid Safe Sailing.  We cannot return to what we did pre-Covid 19 as this would not comply with the Health Orders.  In the coming weeks, we will be working on all aspects of a return to Covid Safe Sailing.  With all things going well and any issues regarding the licenced club being resolved,  I would be hopeful that we can return to sailing in late June to early July.

Lady Sailor of the Year

Every year we have a Lady Sailor of the Year, and we are looking for nominations for this year.  Could skippers please send nominations to Ross Ahrens

2019/20 Presentation and Prize money

At this stage,  the restrictions in place on the club mean that it is highly unlikely that we will be able to hold a presentation before the start of the next summer season.  Consequently, the prizemoney vouchers from the 2019/20 season will be distributed to boat owners shortly.

Cruising division update

Every month,  I will be providing an update of the Cruising Division events.  This month I have included a report from the Cruising Division Skipper, Tony Austin.

I think that April 2020 will be forever etched in our collective minds as the month when the world changed forever. I think that we all knew that something like COVID-19 could happen. We had been through HIV, SARS and H1N1 but, if anything, these previous events had lulled us into a degree of complacency. Many of these nasty things happened to other countries but not to Australia. How wrong we were! While we are by no means out of the woods yet, the successes of the Australian public health measures have been stunning. As a doctor who has worked around the world I always knew that our healthcare system was, if not the very best in the world, right up there with the best. This view has been vindicated in spades and I salute those policy makers, administrators, clinicians and every person who supports the health care system. We are forever in their debt. We must also acknowledge the vast majority of Australians who have, at enormous personal cost, complied with the social distancing requirements. The compliance of CD members has been fantastic and you have used every tool available to keep in touch with, and support, our sailing friends whilst complying with what often seem to be quite harsh restrictions.

Following the steady increase in social distancing restrictions LMYC had no choice but to close the club. It was inevitable that the CD would have to follow and we formally placed the CD into ‘hibernation’ on 24 March 2020. It was certainly a challenging time as we received often quite contradictory guidance from federal and state authorities as to whether or not we could go out on our boats, whether we could overnight or even go ashore. Fortunately those issues have been resolved and I think, as sailors, we have done quite well. Having said this, it is amazing how few yachts are out on the lake while the number of tinnies is enormous! We also need to share a thought for our cruising colleagues who are stuck aboard their yachts in Queensland and places further afield. You are probably also aware that we have quite a few cruisers ’trapped’ here on the Lake as they can no longer continue their planned trips further north. It is one thing to be long term cruising and quite another when you are forcibly stuck in one place! I think many of them see themselves as being quite fortunate as Lake Mac is not too bad a place to be stuck!!!

On behalf of the CD Committee I want to wish you and your families all the very best during these challenging times. There is a light at the end of the tunnel as our COVID-19 case numbers continue to drop and we look forward to being able to resume our normal activities in the not too distant future.

Safe sailing.

Contributions Welcome

If you are going anywhere sailing, let me know, and I will make mention in this Newsletter. We are always looking for stories for the Newsletter.  If you have a contribution, please forward to me, and I will include it in the next Newsletter

All the best and please stay safe,

Steven Ford

Rear Commodore LMYC