You may have noticed a few sails out on the water and there is a sense that we may have turned a corner in the Covid-19 crisis. Wessex Radio reported that it has been a month since the last Covid-19 death at Dorset County Hospital. Thank you to all those who have helped directly in the Covid-19 response and to everyone for their sensible and determined actions during lockdown to help prevent the spread of the disease.
The danger has not passed. There is still a risk of a second peak of infections however the government has published a three-phase plan to kick start society and the economy. We are now in Phase 1 and we have re-opened the boat park for individual members to sail under their own steam. An outline of the next two phases has been published:
Phase 2 - Smarter Controls - Earliest 1st June
Phase 3 - Reliable Treatment - Earliest 4th July
The CCSC General Committee have been working hard to manage the club throughout the last 3 months. Despite there being no sailing, we have never been busier with planning, meetings, managing risk and producing documents as we manage Covid-19 security at the club whilst finding the path back to some form of sailing. Thank you to all of the General Committee members and the wider group of club officials that have kept the club running behind the scenes ready for the return to the water. I am proud to be part of a club where the volunteer ethos is so strong.
This week the slipways team led by Grace Martin, Phil Tysoe and Barry Grant have developed a safe system of work and organised a team of volunteers to get the slipways cleaned. They are looking much better now and are much safer for the dinghies to use. Well done to everyone involved.
The approach taken on the slipways will be replicated as we re-open other areas of the club. For each area we will take the following steps:
There is a lot to do and the timing of the re-opening of the club is dependent upon the progress of the pandemic and the regulations set by the government. We have developed an outline running order of re-opening to let you know what to expect. First Priority
Key to success will be the national response to the disease. It is very unlikely that a vaccine will be widely available in 2020 so there will be a strong reliance on containment through Test, Track and Trace (TTT) for the rest of the year. The government is implementing the national TTT which will be the mainstay of the containment policy. Additionally, we will be implementing a voluntary local trace system for those who want to participate. Members who have participated in an organised CCSC event who then go on to develop Covid-19 symptoms can choose to share this confidentially to allow others to be notified that they might be at risk. This is not part of the national TTT system but an additional voluntary approach to support the wider effort. Details will be circulated shortly.
We do hope to get back to some form of club racing at some point this summer and for that we will need volunteers to participate in duties. The exact nature of the duties will differ from last year as we implement our Covid-19 Secure practices. In the short term all duties are cancelled up to the middle of June. It is likely that we will extend the cancellation period as our plans develop however, towards the back end of the year we may be able to re-instate some duties. Organising duties is a massive job and I am very grateful to our Duties Coordinator Gareth Jones who does a fabulous job each year. To make his job a little easier we will not be cancelling all duties for the rest of the season as we may be able to re-use some of the work he has already put in. Further information on duties will be published in due course.
Dinghy storage will be difficult this year as the keelboats are currently on the boat park and I ask everyone to be patient and understanding of each other as we work around the challenges to get as many dinghies accommodated as possible. Out of a total of 184 dinghy spaces we are currently 55 spaces short. Vice Commodore, Sailing Ian Green and Boat Park Coordinator Jo Young have come up with a revised plan for how we can find as many dinghy spaces as possible on the boat park and convert the lower level car park to dinghy storage. Unfortunately, we are still a few spaces short and there may not be room for everyone. Currently we cannot agree any new requests for P1 storage. Let Ian or Jo know if you want a space and we will keep a 'waiting list' so boats can be matched with spaces should they become available. If you no longer wish to take up a P1 space that you have already paid for please contact Jo Young or Ian. It will help greatly to know of any boats wishing to cancel as soon as possible.
A full refund will be given for P1 space cancellations made before the end of May. This will include the PHA boat fee provided the 2020 sticker is returned unused. A refund is not available to boats already at the club. Portland Harbour Authority have indicated they will allow a proportionate rebate on some Harbour Dues for the period we have been unable to use Portland Harbour. The rebate will end on the day we are allowed to use the water and the details of how the rebate will be applied will be made known when we know more.
A significant number of keelboat users have asked for the keelboats to stay on the boat park for the rest of 2020. It is likely that the next organised lift in for keelboats will be in Spring 2021. If you feel that some boats should go back into the water this year, then please contact me directly. The committee will be making a decision by the end of May regarding lifting in 2020.
The club finances remain challenging for the year. A number of open events have been cancelled and we are not taking any income in the clubhouse. Fortunately, the club was in a strong financial position at the start of the crisis and we have the reserves to weather the storm in 2020. Anne Midona has done an excellent job in applying for additional funding. We have taken advantage of the government's furlough scheme and Dorset County Council have very kindly awarded the club a £25k grant. The club always aims to offer excellent value for money and I am aware that we have not been able to sail as much as expected. Towards the end of the year we will look again at the charges made to members and the value offered to ensure that we fairly recognise the contributions asked for this year whilst keeping the club financially viable for future generations.
The club does remain open to new members and although facilities are limited in the short-term, there will still be much to enjoy at the club this summer and the future of the club is strong. Growing the membership will be essential for the future of the club so please think about how you can encourage people into sailing at CCSC over the next 12 months. For those who have not yet renewed their membership or paid their 2020 subscription, I encourage you to do so as you are all valued as part of a wider community and despite the difficulties this year there are plenty of good times to come.
In the meantime there is still Virtual Sailing to enjoy. Jon Emmett is running virtual e-sailing races using www.virtualregatta.com/en/inshore-game/ . There are Monday, Wednesday and Sunday races following the dates and approximate times as set out in the racing program for 2020 with details available on the CCSC members Facebook page. The races are around 10 minutes long with people socialising at the same time on Zoom. The video of the latest race is at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=547583979512467. The time table for the 2nd lock down series of races (3 on each day) will start on the week commencing May 25th and end with the Weymouth Dinghy on 11th and 12th July. For further details contact Jon via email (email@example.com).
There is lots going on at the club and the plans are developing daily. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. In the first week of June the General Committee plans to hold a Zoom meeting to give an update on progress and allow members to ask questions directly. The details of the meeting will be circulated shortly.
Working together we will get through this but in the meantime, stay safe.
CCSC General Committee
Following the government's relaxation of the rules on social distancing which the RYA understands to include all forms of boating, CCSC is relaxing the restrictions on the use of club facilities for the purpose of exercise, effective from 13 May 2020. The spirit of the restrictions is still to stay at home as much as possible and limit contact with other people to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. There will be opportunities for individual exercise using the club's facilities however, we are a long way from returning to business as normal. The changes in the rules are not intended to promote socialising at the club.
When visiting the club, all members must follow the government rules on social distancing and infection control including:
A Risk Assessment of club activities is attached and all members must familiarise themselves with the details in it before visiting the club. All activities are conducted at the discretion of the individual member and nobody should feel obliged to participate in any activities at the club. All activities normally expected from individuals including employed work and duties continue to be suspended until further notice.
A summary of the voluntary activities that are considered acceptable at the club under the current government guidance is given below along with the relevant risk number in the Risk Assessment shown in brackets.
Please do not use the clubhouse or changing room toilets as infection control measures are not yet in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus in these areas.
Touching surfaces touched by other people is a major route of infection. Please bring your own tools and gardening equipment where possible for work on site. If it is necessary to use club equipment or to touch surfaces touched by others, then clean the surfaces and tools both before and after use.
Although sailing may be possible, PHA are currently waiting on specific guidance and the completion of risk assessments before easing their current restrictions. They ask for recreational marine leisure users remain patient and understanding as they continue to cooperate and work closely with Government. PHA will be in touch shortly once they have a further update.
No rescue boat cover is available at this time so there are increased risks during any on-water activity including sailing. It is recommended that you do not go onto the water without ensuring you have a safe method of being recovered safely to shore in the event of an incident. Note that an incident may cause undue stress on the RNLI, PHA or other emergency services.
Normal restrictions apply to the use of club facilities including club boats and the club crane.
The keelboats are currently remaining on site so the boat park is not configured for full P1 usage by dinghies. You may not be able to bring your dinghy to the club. An update on boat park configuration for the summer will be issued shortly.
There are a number of issues around the lifting of keelboats in 2020. A significant number of key lift team members and keelboat owners are either in the group of people at high risk from Covid-19 or are shielding so will be unable to attend the lift, train replacement volunteers or develop a Covid-19 Secure safe system of work. Should the infection rate rise again the lockdown will be reinstated and boats would be left unattended on the water. A significant number of keelboat users have asked for the keelboats to stay on the boat park for the rest of 2020. It is likely that the next organised lift in for keelboats will be in Spring 2021. If you feel that some boats should go back into the water this year, then please contact me directly. The committee will be making a decision by the end of May regarding lifting in 2020.
Where there is an urgent need for access to a closed area or a prohibited activity then authorisation must first be obtained from a member of the General Committee.
This information will be updated regularly in line with government guidance.
If we all work sensibly together, we can control this pandemic and also start to take steps back towards sailing. I look forward to seeing you on the water again when it is safe to do so.
CCSC General Committee
I hope that you are staying safe and coping with lockdown as best you can. At this difficult time our thoughts are with those affected by the pandemic and particularly those who have lost loved ones.
It does look as thought the measures that have been in place for the last two months have been effective in stemming the growth of cases of coronavirus and inevitably our thoughts will turn to when we can go sailing again. I am sure many of you will have seen the broadcast by the Prime Minister tonight and the steps being taken to return the country towards a more normal routine. The risk from coronavirus remains grave and we are all urged to stay alert. At the moment the club remains closed however, plans are being developed for how the club can re-open whilst maintaining the safety of our members and employees.
We have had to cancel the following open events:
A decision on the Osprey Nationals 25-28 July will be taken in June.
Club sailing remains on hold. Once the restrictions are lifted enough for activities to begin again there will be a lead time while we get the club racing running again. The pontoons will need to be completed, the moorings checked, boats lifted in, boat park re-arranged, races scheduled and duties checked. It is likely to take a couple of weeks to get everything arranged and longer for activities dependent upon spring tides. At the moment there is uncertainty about how the lockdown rules will be relaxed and when, but as soon as we have the required clarity I will let you know the details and timing for the return to sailing. We also need to be mindful that a resurgence in infection rates may cause subsequent lockdowns and we should be prepared for continued intermitted disruption until a vaccine for coronavirus is available. The disruption is likely to continue throughout 2020.
In the meantime there are some sailing related activities to keep you going. Bob Footer has created a Tall Ships quiz circulated in a previous email. Jon Emmett is running virtual e-sailing races using www.virtualregatta.com/en/inshore-game/ . There are Monday, Wednesday and Sunday races following the dates and approximate times as set out in the racing program for 2020 with details available on the CCSC members Facebook page. The races are around 10 minutes long with people socialising at the same time on Zoom. The video of the latest race is at: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=547583979512467. The time table for the 2nd lock down series of races (3 on each day) will start on the week commencing May 25th and end with the Weymouth Dinghy on 11th and 12th July. For further details contact Jon via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stay alert and I hope to see you back on the water as soon as possible.
CCSC General Committee
Thank you to everyone who is staying at home or who is out and about working to help the nation through the Covid-19 crisis. This is a great help to our hard-pressed NHS and key workers and is essential for reducing the peak number of Covid-19 cases which in turn will save lives.
The figures today from Public Health England show that the crisis is worsening as predicted and now is the moment we all need to focus on what we can do to help.
CCSC premises are closed and there is no reason to travel to the club. As of 26 March the new Regulations extending the travel restrictions are now enforceable by law. Members should not be at the club for any of our usual activities including; sailing, facilities maintenance or preparation of boats and we all must follow the Government's advice on staying at home which is currently:
"You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
These four reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household."
Weymouth & Portland Police have advised that your one form of exercise a day should start and finish at your home address. You should not be driving anywhere to take exercise or walk your dog.
Although the priority must be the safety of the people, members may also have concerns about the security of the club and their boats. There are a number of measures in place ensuring security at the club:
Should anyone notice an issue at the club please could they contact a member of the committee or contact me directly by email at email@example.com or by phone on 07901917704.
In this way we will be able to notify members if there is an issue at the club. Currently our ability to respond to issues is limited but there are things we can do in the case of an urgent incident. I have been in contact with Dorset Police and they are exercising discretion about what constitutes essential work requiring travel to the club should an urgent incident arise. The committee has also completed a risk assessment which addresses access to the premises by club officials during an urgent incident. Any request to enter the club to attend to an urgent issue should be directed to a committee member.
The current lock down will be in place for at least 3 weeks from 23 March and there are difficult times ahead. Stay safe, follow the spirit of the rules and look out for one another.
CCSC General Committee
I am sure that many of you will have seen the Prime Minister's announcement tonight and the message is clear - stay at home.
It is clear that we are at a pivotal moment of the coronavirus outbreak and now is the time for households to stop mixing so that we can all do our part to reduce the stress on the NHS at the peak of the crisis. In this way we will protect out NHS staff, key workers and the sickest of the patients in our hospitals. This means there is no reason to visit Castle Cove Sailing Club. All work around the club and all preparation of boats at the club must cease immediately. Please follow the Government's guidance on restrictions of movement.
This will be a tough time for all of us however, by staying in touch with one another by phone and through social media we can ensure that everyone is protected yet not completely isolated.
CCSC General Committee
We will not be putting the pontoons in or running the ferry for the foreseeable future.
The huge changes to our way of life and work may appear overwhelming but the CCSC General Committee are working hard to deliver what the Government and health experts say will help protect our communities. Currently we are looking to minimise the spread of coronavirus which is best achieved through social distancing, particularly for those at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Balanced against that is the community, financial and mental health value in keeping some sailing going, so the General Committee are balancing the risks to keep everyone safe whilst also maintaining whatever sailing may be sensible this year. I would like to thank all of the committee, club officers and volunteers who have worked so hard over the last few weeks and continue to work selflessly to ensure that the club is prepared for the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to a the risks of Covid-19 to our members, the shortage of volunteers because of self-isolation and the current public health advice to avoid social contact it is, with regret, necessary to cancel many activities at the club.
Effective immediately the following apply:
There are challenging times ahead and I am certain that every member will be taking cautious, sensible actions relevant to their own situations. The outbreak is developing rapidly and the guidance is constantly updating. The CCSC General Committee will continue to monitor the UK Government's guidance daily to ensure we take appropriate, timely action as the situation develops.
The Covid-19 outbreak is still in the early stages and there are difficult times ahead. Stay safe and look out for one another.
CCSC General Committee