Felpham SC returns to sailing thanks to its volunteers

21 Jul 20

Roger Belton from the club reports:

Guy Mayger, Commodore, is full of praise for how the volunteers on the Committee have come together to lead the club and its members by devising solutions which meet the current legislation and guidelines and are still able to offer fun in a safe environment.

Guy said: “The Committee have worked really well together to understand the constraints of the new normal and adapt our offering to club members accordingly. In turn, our members are enjoying getting out sailing, racing and training. A lot of work has been done to make the bar and clubhouse conform with guidelines and members are respecting what has been put in place. So far it is going well.”

Several measures have been established to enable maintenance of social distance including household groups providing safety cover, launching on a falling tide (providing a bigger beach and avoiding the high tide dump), and only using lightweight safety craft (two person launch & recover). Choke points in the dinghy park and on the ramp and promenade are self-policed for social distance. The racing is as closely fought as ever with many close finishes across the handicap fleet.

Training and race coaching have been very strongly led by volunteer Principal Paul Miller with a team of young instructors looking for work now that school and uni are over for the summer. With a couple of instructors from the same household and four students the instructor ratios have been excellent and the price has been kept low to maximise uptake. Social sailors have not lost out either as they have gone out in small groups around low tide in lighter winds giving each other support while they enjoy the sea.

Guy said: “It has been difficult trying to get it right, but the support from the RYA through the online forums and the local Flag Officer network has helped me and the Committee through some challenging times. The last two weeks have been very rewarding seeing many old friends back sailing and having fun, and some new members too.”

Guy Mayger in a socially distant Race Officer role – quite a challenge to keep track of a handicap fleet of 30 dinghies.

Felpham SC is a British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, an RYA Training Centre and an RYA OnBoard Centre.

How is your club or centre returning to sailing? Please send your stories to your Regional Communicator