The guidance has been developed within the current legislationand follows the parameters now also in place in England. It is based upon an assessment of team sports,feedback from the Sport NI Expert Panel and the mitigations required to lowerthe risks of virus transmission in multi-crewed boats. The guidance does notinclude those at a ‘Learn to Sail’ level, which means only proficient sailorscan crew with different households.
Whilst many single-handed or single household participantshave enjoyed being back afloat since mid-May, this new guidance now gives cleardirection to those who enjoy sailing or racing as part of a team providing theappropriate mitigations are in place.
Richard Honeyford, Chief Operating Officer for RYA NorthernIreland, explains: “RYA Northern Ireland strongly believes that the highestrisk will often be before and after going afloat. The new RYANI Guidance onsailing and racing with participants from different households during COVID-19that has been published today outlines the ways in which skippers andparticipants should review risk and how they might mitigate against that riskin a team environment.”
The guidance highlights the increased risk of certainon-board activities such as rigging, hiking out or two-person winch operation.It also recognises that while social distancing of 2m may not always bepossible on-board, it should always be possible to maintain a minimumseparation of 0.5m and outlines other mitigations that should be considered.
Richard Honeyford says: “We welcome being able to publishthis guidance for Northern Ireland, following collaboration and work fromcolleagues in RYA and input from the Sport NI Expert Panel.
“It remains vitally important that the boating communitycontinue to take a considerate and responsible approach, assessing the risksand following the appropriate mitigating actions. We must all play our part and respect anymeasures that our clubs deem necessary to put in place to allow multi-crewedcraft afloat.”
RYA Northern Ireland continues to support the nationaleffort to control the spread of COVID-19 and assist members of the RYA familywith any variations that might develop at a local level.
Whilst the regulationsin home countries may be different, they are all aimed at controlling thevirus. Guidance continues to be updatedin line with any relevant announcements or as clarification from officials isgained.
The Guidance and updated Club Guidance can be found underthe RYANIReturn to Boating webpage.