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Tentative recommencement of on-water rowing

I’m pleased to be able to say that both sculling trials over the weekend went well with no incidents or concerns about breaching social distancing requirements. On Saturday, three singles went out and on Sunday there was 10 boats in total comprising singles, a double (crewed by cohabiting people) and some of the dragon boaters.

In undertaking the trials, we learned several things which have formed the basis of the rules going forward. These procedures will remain in place until the next relaxation of Government lockdown restrictions and more updated guidance from British Rowing at which point the Committee will update the applicable Club procedures.

  • Given the size of our site, there is no specific need to limit numbers at the Club at any time to make it possible to maintain a 2m social distance between people (other than the natural limitation because the availability of boats);

  • Only one member should be in any boat bay at any point in time. I understand that this may make it a bit more time consuming to collect blades and boats, but is deemed appropriate in the current circumstances;

  • Only two boats will be permitted on the landing stage at any time. While it is possible that three boats could be on the landing stage and maintain social distance, it would increase the chances of closer interaction as people collect blades, water bottles, etc.

  • There is plenty of space on the lawn for trestles to be spaced out appropriately;

  • Boats should be checked, stretchers moved, etc. while boats are on the lawn to limit the time spent on the landing stage;

  • We are going to put in place a boat booking procedure for Club singles and crew boats as we expect strong demand for boats, particularly at weekends. Details of this will be posted as soon as we can. Both Jeremy and I are snowed under at our respective jobs so I am looking for someone to take this on – if you think you can help, please let me know

  • If you want to go sculling this weekend, please email me on and I’ll try and allocate boats;

  • Crew boats can only be used by cohabiting people;

  • All Club boats and blades to be washed down after every outing – no exceptions;

  • People who own their own boats can use them without limitation as and when they want;

  • Once cleaned, the toilets and changing rooms in the old Clubhouse will be reopened but access to the training/ bar room will still be locked. Hopefully the cleaning will be done by this weekend;

  • Under current Government restrictions and in accordance with BR advice, the Club cannot provide on-water safety cover through the use of the launches. Anyone going out must have made (and will be considered to have made) a suitable risk assessment to satisfy themselves that it is safe for them to go out and that they are competent to do so;

  • The Club will limit the use of Club equipment to those who have been assessed to have the required level of competency to go out under the current circumstances. Assessments will be undertaken by the coaches for anyone needing or wanting assessment;

  • Dudley is working with the coaches to establish how we can provide coaching on a one-on-one basis. We hope to be able to provide some level of coaching, particularly for the Juniors. Please be patient with us as we sort this out and we’ll update you as soon as we can;

  • Finally, anyone wanting to go sculling must have paid their subs for the current year or come to an arrangement with the Membership Secretary and Treasurer for their payment. While the Club has been patient while it has been closed, we believe it fair that those wanting to use the facilities, should have paid their subs.

We are beginning to get back on the water, albeit it in a gradual and cautious manner. As we move forward, we will continue to work to enable more members to get back on the water as soon as Government restrictions permit. In the meantime, please keep safe and Stay Alert!

Alan Douglas

President, Staines Boat Club

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