A total of 37 Category One Irish Sailing Clubs attended a series of virtual meetings hosted by Irish Sailing. The aim was to introduce David O’Brien – Irish Sailing’s new President, to communicate further updates and clarify existing matters arising from COVID 19 restrictions and to share information, ideas and challenges common to Clubs.
The main challenge is the uncertainty of the period for which restrictions are likely to be imposed, making it difficult to plan ahead.
The updates are posted on Irish Sailing’s Corona Virus webpage that has been reorganised to give more structure around current restrictions, training briefings, and government supports for SMEs and Clubs.
The main issues discussed were:
- Sailing Activity - Whether members are allowed access to their own boats on club premises and the rescheduling of lift in. The consensus was that few (if any) clubs are allowing any sailing activity to take place from their premises until restrictions are lifted.
- Deferral of Irish Sailing Affiliation/Accreditation fees – Irish Sailing has agreed to a deferral of any fees unpaid to date until the end of May. This may be reviewed again should restrictions continue.
Membership Renewals – Many clubs reported a reluctance of some members to renew their subscriptions, particularly those who join to allow their children to attend the junior training course in the summer. It was suggested to allocate places on summer courses on a first come first served basis to encourage bookings and membership renewal.
- When should Clubs be planning to reopen for activities – the advice was that Clubs might continue to plan with the assumption that they will resume at the beginning of the summer, however, to be prepared to defer or cancel activities if necessary (plan for the best, prepare for the worst).
- eSailing – Irish Sailing is to launch the eSailing National Championships this week.
- Sailing Calendar – Irish Sailing asked for organisations to submit any changes to the scheduling of events, so we can keep the sailing calendar as up to date as we can, and for organisations to look at the calendar prior to rescheduling to avoid clashes as much as possible. For example, the HYC Wave regatta has now been rescheduled for September, and the ICRA Nationals may be rescheduled as part of it.
- Lifting of restrictions – Irish Sailing will continue to monitor closely and communicate as restrictions are lifted. The expectation is that Sailing will be able to resume activities before some of the other contact sports, and that we will need to be ready to be active again without delays.
Chief Executive Harry Hermon concludes “The general feeling was the main challenge is the uncertainty of the period for which restrictions are likely to be imposed, making it difficult to plan ahead, but when we are allowed back on the water again, Sailing will be ready. “