Since the Covid-19 shutdown commenced, Irish Sailing has been communicating on behalf of our members with various government stakeholders to present a case for our sport to be viewed as a ‘low risk’ activity, so that we will be allowed to return to sailing as quickly and safely as possible as restrictions start to be lifted. We believe that with appropriate measures, a basic level of safe and responsible activity can be delivered to get our members active on the water.
To this end, we submitted a proposal to Sport Ireland (the Government’s agency coordinating a return to sport activities) outlining protocols and priorities in a “Return to Sailing Scheme” document. As our members know, it is a fundamental principle of sailing that the decision to go afloat both for individuals and activity organisers is based on a combination of self-responsibility and risk assessment. The Return to Sailing Scheme proposed by Irish Sailing extends these principles to include the mitigation of Covid 19 risks to allow individuals and activity organisers make informed decisions on their own interests and activities.
Irish Sailing believes that limited activities can take place even within current guidelines, however, there are some measures that were included in our submission for the lifting of restrictions that we feel would significantly facilitate boating activities. These include:
- Irish Sailing Clubs and Accredited Training Centres allowed to organise activities in compliance with National guidelines
- Social gatherings of two (or more) households permitted to enable double handed sailing
- 2km limit for exercise extended to allow travel to the venue
- Public marinas and boat maintenance facilities open to allow essential access, lifting and maintenance
- Over 70s who are currently cocooning allowed access to their boats to facilitate their health and well being
- Access for boat owners to maintain their craft and minimise damage of facilities and property in case of storm or bad weather
Whilst there is currently much media coverage around the lifting of restrictions, and an announcement to be made in the coming days which is causing some confusion and speculation, Irish Sailing can only respond to official announcements, and we will communicate any options for returning to sailing activities as and when they are announced.
At this challenging time for all, Irish Sailing is focused on getting our members active on the water as soon as is safely possible. Members will be first to hear when this possible.
Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing