I am very pleased to inform you that we are beginning to restart on-water activities. This follows the changes to Government advice earlier this week and the updated guidance from British Rowing and the EA.
As you can imagine, we are going to have to do this slowly and carefully to make sure that all those taking part remain safe and we limit the possibility of transfer of Covid-19 to the absolute minimum. The Committee has discussed this and agreed a phased process, as follows
This weekend there will be sculling “trials” where limited numbers of invited people will boat and land while being observed;
The observation is to determine whether the initial measures are sufficient or whether additional measures are required to ensure proper social distancing can be maintained;
If these trials are successful, we would look to take a few more gradual steps towards reopening a bit more for the Bank Holiday weekend.
However, in beginning to reopen the club to on-water activities, you should all be aware of the following:
There will be no crew boat rowing other than limited, pre-agreed exceptions for cohabiting people;
Access to the existing Clubhouse will be limited and it will remain locked until we have satisfied ourselves that it has been cleaned appropriately and the water systems run through;
No land based training will be taking place at the Club;
Anyone wanting to go on the river will need to book a boat and boating time slot so we can limit numbers wanting to use the landing stage at any point in time (and we haven’t yet figured out the best way to do this);
There will be no safety cover so on-water activities will, unfortunately, have to be limited to those who the Committee consider to be competent, safe and know what to do in emergencies;
Anyone using a Club boat will be required to wash both boat and blades thoroughly after each outing and generally maintain a high standard of hygiene;
Anyone sculling or rowing will, of course, need to comply with all normal Club navigation rules.
I understand the frustrations among you about not being able to row. As a Committee, we are looking to recommence activities as soon as we believe it is safe and in compliance with Government, BR and EA guidelines. This will take some more time before everything is back to normal so please bear with us as we work through this gradual reopening. I do not know, for example, how long it will be before we can recommence crew outings involving non-cohabiting people.
If anyone has any questions on the above, please feel free to contact me. Assuming this weekend’s trials are successful, I will tell you more about arrangements for the Bank Holiday weekend and we may be able to get some more people onto the water then.
Thank you for your continued patience in these difficult times. Keep safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all back at the Club as soon as possible.
President, Staines Boat Club