26 February 2021
Racing Update from the Captain, 26th February 2021
The, much heralded, Roadmap out of Lockdown has been announced and the JOG Flag Officers and Committee members have considered it in some detail. A degree of interpretation is needed, of course, and we have always stated that we would preserve social responsibility whilst doing our best to achieve a sensible racing programme.
The good news is that we can see some real progress with the roll out of the vaccinations and there are some dates to work around, albeit that there are caveats which could cause dates to slip. For this reason, we will not be making any announcements on the latter part of the season, post the end of May, whilst we see how things develop. Like last year when the changes were coming thick and fast, we expect that there will be further commentary and advice which may influence our plans.
We have published an amended programme on the website. Suffice it to say that the One Sails Lonely Tower race is postponed from the 20th March as we do not see any latitude to allow us to race at all. It is re-scheduled for Friday 2nd April (Good Friday) followed by a further race on Easter Sunday.
Similarly, the Roadmap does not give scope for overnight stays on board for non-family groups until at least 17th May so, regrettably, we are staging only Inshore day races until then to allow you to return to your home port as appropriate. Our Easter destination to Eastbourne and the early May Bank Holiday venues have been exchanged as you will see in the new programme.
Race entry will be available on our website from 8th March, by which times our slick new amendments to the systems will be in place.
We will be publishing new Sailing Instructions soon and will be putting a crew limitation in place of a maximum of 6, irrespective of family group considerations, for the early season racing until 21st June at the earliest, pending any further Governmental instructions or guidance from the RYA or external sources.
Please have a good look at the SI’s when they appear for any other particular requirements such as we introduced last year to avoid the unnecessary call out of the Emergency Services. However, at this stage, we are planning to resume our more normal check list requirements with no additions.
With the changes to the Cat 3 races, we are also amending the Notice of Race to change the Series Points requirements. The Inshore Series will have a higher number of races and the Offshore Series a smaller number so we have changed the number of discards. The detail is in the amended NoR.
For those of you who are struggling to get to work on your boats with a variety of Yard restrictions in place, the date changes will at least give a little more elbow room and we hope that we will see as many of you as possible out on the water. If you are “arm chair sailing”, we at least have some new member’s benefits to console you!
As ever, the Secretary and myself are happy to hear from you if you need more guidance or information and I wish everyone well.