Club News
ASC – Return to recreational sailing – Covid-19 Special measures27 May 2020

ASC – Return to recreational sailing – Covid-19 Special measures

I am pleased to say that the work on site to allow a return to recreational sailing is now complete and the Committee are happy for us to move to Stage 2 of our plan to allow recreational sailing with effect from Wednesday 27th May.

I would like to thank all those that have helped make this possible. I know that many more would have been willing to help but by managing it with a small number, and with family units working together, we have ensured that all activities have been managed safely and within the Government Covid -19 Secure guidelines.

If you have been to the club already you may note that the gate code has not yet changed. It will change this week to the new number for 2020 advised on your membership revewal.

Stage 2 – Return to recreational sailing – What this means

I should highlight that this is not a return to normal activity and things will still feel different. You can now undertake independent recreational sailing in line with the Government guidance for sport. More guidance for recreational boaters can be found on the RYA website.

We are doing all we can to reduce the risk for our members but there is significantly more risk associated with entering shared facilities than remaining outside. The Clubhouse therefore remains closed although there will be access to the toilets.

I attach an updated document which sets out Stage 2 in more detail, identifying what is open with restrictions and what remains closed.

Due to the size of our membership and site we do not feel it necessary to implement a booking system at the current time. We will, however, keep this under review and have a system that can be implemented if necessary, to manage numbers.

Members should however take particular care to observe the 2m distancing around pinch points such as the slipway, pontoons and in the boat park.

Sailing, or any other water-based activity

Members are advised to consider the following:

  • You access the water at your own risk. You should therefore consider the points below when deciding if you or your family should go out on the water.
  • Buoyancy aids should be worn at all time on the water and pontoons. Please bring your own as Club buoyancy aids are not currently available for use.
  • There is no safety boat cover for recreational sailing so if you are not confident without back-up then do not go out on the water.
  • Organised sporting activity is not currently allowed. Independent single handed or multi handed within family unit only. (Do not sail a double hander alone)
  • However, avoid sailing at the club alone. If you are not with other family members, then decide to sail with a buddy on a 1-1 basis. Remember that 2m social distancing still applies.
  • Sailors should be competent and able to deal with the weather and river conditions without assistance. Including launching and recovery of their boat.
  • Consider the wind and river conditions and do not go out if it is close to your upper comfort level. Check the weather and river conditions before you go.
  • Sail upstream so that if the wind drops you can still get back to the club.
  • If you can, reef or drop a rig size earlier than you would normally do so. This will reduce the risk to you and the risk of equipment failure whilst on the water.
  • Attach a long painter to your boat. This will make recovery easier if required.
  • Consider the use of a mast float as this will help prevent the boat inverting and the head of the mast becoming stuck in the soft riverbed, particularly when the river is low. This link gives an example.
  • Only personal boats and kit is to be used. There is currently no access to the Club equipment.


Cruisers may be put on their moorings. It is recommended that owners review the guidance provided by the Canal & River Trust regarding usage.

Around the site

The measures that I set out in my previous email for stage 1 (access to the site) remain in place. I would however highlight these additional items.

2m distancing must be observed on the slipway and pontoons and when launching and recovering.

Do not land on the slipway if another boat is already being recovered or launched. However, priority should be given to those coming off the water. Please do not hang around on the slipway.

People leaving the pontoon have priority over those gaining access.

The changing rooms are closed. Sailors should either arrive and leave in their sailing kit or change discretely in the car park.

Access to the toilets

Access to the clubhouse is for toilet facilities only. The following control measures are in place.

  • The clubhouse door should be kept locked.
  • Please use the hand sanitizer on entering the clubhouse.
  • Toilets are limited to one person in each of the male & female toilet areas at any one time. (or more than one if of the same household unit). Children under 12 must be supervised.
  • Door to toilets should be closed when toilets are in use and opened again when leaving to indicate they are available. (If in doubt call into toilets from the clubhouse)
  • If someone is already waiting in the Clubhouse to use the toilet other people should wait a minimum of 2m apart.
  • Thorough hand washing is a must following signs by the sinks.
  • To help protect the next person to use the toilets please use the cleaning spray and a paper towel to wipe any areas touched.
  • Showers and changing rooms are not to be used.
  • Please use the hand sanitizer when you exit the building

Don’t panic! There will be signage in the clubhouse to remind you of these measures.

Do you have kit in the clubhouse?

If you have any personal kit in the clubhouse, including sails, tools or items in a locker, you may access the clubhouse to retrieve them, but they should then be taken home or stored with your boat. Please do not return them to the clubhouse to help reduce the risk for all.

Be considerate and conservative

The RYA encourage us all to be:

  • considerate – mindful of potential impact that we may have on others
  • conservative – Help to minimise risk by taking an extra conservative approach to boating

We have considered these two principles when developing our plans for sailing and I would ask that you do the same when considering your boating activities.

As always, if you have any questions or require further guidance please contact me.

Best regards



© Avon Sailing Club 2020