15 July 2020
It seems that my updates are coming thick and fast as the, ever changing, Covid guidelines evolve. We have been very busy behind the scenes reviewing our own programme and activities, not to mention monitoring all that is going on around us.
The Lonely Tower race, on its rescheduled date, saw 120 boats out on the water on a classic sea breeze day and, if the feedback is anything to go by, was enjoyed by several hundred crew and race staff who have been champing at the bit to get back out there. JOG has led the way with a framework that does its best to keep everyone safe. For some, the crew restrictions imposed have not been as flexible as other clubs. However, you only have to look at how difficult the on-board social distancing was to achieve, to realise that multiple crew from non-family groups verges on irresponsible. We have taken, and considered, advice from all quarters, including our National sailing bodies, and are sticking behind our early stance that we would be “socially responsible” in our own prescriptions. We can see that others are choosing to interpret the guidelines in their own way but, if you assume that someone in the crew steps aboard with infection, our own policies offer some real chance of not passing it on to everyone. You only have to think about crew in normal times with a common cold to see why we continue to be massively concerned. We are monitoring outcomes and will continue to make changes as things settle down and the sport develops. In the meantime, the cooperation and support from you all is very much appreciated. The last thing we want is a further embargo on racing in the event that we see a spread of the virus as a direct result of our activities.
We have had a number of virtual committee and flag officer meetings and, to assist in your planning, we have taken the decision to announce that we will not be holding our annual Dinner and Prizegiving. We are, of course, disappointed but it is in line with our policy of prudence, even if there are further social relaxations which may make it possible.
Similarly, with no prospect of presenting trophies, we have suspended the points series, as such, until we have a new start next year. We are still not able to plan any offshore races and the limited remaining coastal, cat 4 races, will almost certainly be run on our current format. We will, however, be awarding informal prizes as we go along and, as there are no immediate prospects of a social get together, we will be awarding JOG vouchers as prizes which will be added to your account (if you are in the podium spaces) so you can use them against race entry fees or purchases from the JOG Shop for Polo Shirts, flags and burgees. You will find them when you next use the checkout. Non members will still be able to find and use them! Shame on you for not joining though!
As I write this, the Great Escape race is nearly here. The virtual race briefings and our recent two-handed webinar are new innovations by us and have been informative and well received. Whatever the world is doing, we are doing our very best, and putting in the effort, to give all our members the best experience that circumstances will allow.