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Home / News / 24 February 2021: Latest Coronavirus Update from The Commodore
Home / News / 24 February 2021: Latest Coronavirus Update from The Commodore

24 February 2021: Latest Coronavirus Update from The Commodore

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Published 15:04 on 3 Mar 2021

I hear ever more members have been vaccinated, fuelling enthusiasm to get out and go sailing.  There is definitely an air of restrained excitement to go boating having suffered a long winter - and with no skiing for those fortunate enough normally to do so.

I wanted to say thank you to you all for continuing to pay your membership subscriptions despite perhaps not always a full offering from the club last year, and with a continuation of the uncertainty into this season as to when we will be sailing again.

However, we now have a plan based on the forward government guidance -  which as ever requires some interpretation.  Amanda's summary of key dates is as follows:

29 March            

  • The Clubs organised racing programme starts. Rowing will recommence under the rule of 6 as before. Members can meet outside in groups up to a maximum of six people (Rule of 6) or with one other household, though people from different households will still need to socially distance from each other.  Gatherings of more than 30 people remains illegal. Club Ferry will run (same household or 2m apart as before) and loos will be in use with social distancing rules.  Travel allowed for recreation and sport.                    

3 April                                

  • First organised racing weekend.  Clubhouse open for takeaway tea, coffees and cakes, sandwiches and hot lunches for all four days over Easter.  Club Ferry, changing rooms and loos will operate under social distancing rules. This may require some shuffling of the calendar and events to ensure we do not break the maximum limit of 30 people. More on this to follow.

12 April

  • Clubhouse opens for outdoor service.   The Rule of 6, or two households outdoors continues.  Table service for breakfasts, lunches and drinks at weekends.  Takeaway service continues on Friday nights. Gatherings of more than 30 people remains illegal.

17 May               

  • Clubhouse opens for indoor service. The Rule of 6, or two households indoors and outdoors continues.  Table service for breakfasts, lunches and drinks.  Gatherings of up to 30 people now permitted outdoors.
  • Accommodation at the Cub allowed to re-open, subject to social distancing rules.

21 June               

  • No legal limits on social contact, large events allowed, international travel allowed.


We will no doubt get further information from the Harbour Master and RYA in due course and will update as necessary.  Needless to say, the above is dependent on the data!

Your Flag Officers have also been busy in the background over the last few months and the planning permission for the new Jetty is now lodged with Chichester District council and we await due process. My thanks to VC, David Maclean, who has taken on the delivery of this new infrastructure for the Club with his sub-committee. This exciting new development will shortly have its own posting on our website. This program is also being linked to work on rising sea heights anticipated in the next 20 years.  Obviously much more on this as the season progresses.

The conundrum of when to reopen the house and manning levels continues. In anticipation of the government announcement, we have appointed a new Assistant House Manager, Georgia Punter, who starts on 23 March. We are planning for a continuation of social distancing which will initially mean eating and drinking outside. We are looking at some form of temporary covering of the lawn area to keep you all dry.  Please come and support us when we start this outside catering service in April.

Steve Roose, our new bosun, has really taken ownership of his area including a big clear up leading to the discovery of several long-lost items. He has also mastered the cleaning of the jetty with a rotary power washing attachment, giving a much safer environment, and with a renewed commitment to keep the staging less slippery. We also have the new dinghy racking, soon to be assembled, to facilitate more Toppers and the like to ensure that everyone has a space who wants one. This, combined with the efforts of the gardening team - lead by Ann Martin - has seen a visible improvement to the outside areas of the Club, and I am sure you will all notice the difference.

There has been a lot of news about Southern Water Appledram works and the sewage overloading in the Harbour.  Your committee is looking to give more real time feedback on this to advise us when the systems are overloaded and raw sewage is being dumped (100 days last year) and potentially when the risk of bacterial infection is much higher. David Maclean is reviewing the impact on the Clubs sailors, rowers and swimmers and will report back. We are also joining forces with the Federation of Clubs to give a combined message to local government and Southern Water.

The real back story through the winter is how our clubs within the club are working so hard. Congratulations to the Swallow fleet who are on a mission to up their game with a new builder, new website and a real commitment to urging out their members and encouraging new members. The junior fleets too have a new makeover of Junior Fortnight with plans to bring back more activities to the club. Then the Sunbeams are still adding new boats and attracting new members, and I understand there are more Sunbeams on the stocks….  Then, if you survived all that, Roger Yeoman our RCS, will press gang you into an X boat.

As part of the unlocking we will now have the opportunity to restart the work parties, adhereing to social distancing guidelines.  Two groups of six being the opening salvo. More on this directly from our Hon Bosun Philip Pascal.

We are all looking forward to the return of sailing after a maddening winter and we anticipate a busy season. I wanted to draw your attention to a positive small change in the club opening hours. Once we are allowed to open, the main club house will open from 9-5 on a self-service basis, providing the office is manned.  So please come and use your club to relax and admire the view from the jubilee extension, read the papers and make yourself a cup of tea.  This is in addition to extended opening hours for serviced coffee/tea and cakes during the early and late seasons.

Well, its my turn to have the vaccine this afternoon.  It is not long now before we can enjoy our wonderful club in a safe well managed environment.

Happy sailing.


Andy FitzGerald
The Commodore

Last updated 13:43 on 1 August 2022

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