Coronavirus Update #14

Published Monday 7 Jan 2021

Dear Fellow Members,

May I take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year. 

With the deepest regret, I am obliged to advise you of measures that I have asked be put in place by the weekend in order to protect Members, Visitors and Staff from the rampaging virus variant now sweeping across our county. 

I am deeply sorry to be instigating these but Sussex Yacht Club must be seen to be fully complying with the new laws which are there only to protect the citizens of this country and reduce the burden on an overstretched health service. 

In outlining the new measures below, I am trusting members to use their own sense and community spirit in not abusing areas of the club that although, by law, will be out of bounds. I do not propose at this time to erect physical barriers to prevent access to the yard and moorings but members should refrain from leaving home to visit their boat. The Boatswains will be asked to undertake full and more complete daily checks of all boats on our moorings and in the yard and will be in touch immediately if there is anything they suspect is amiss. 

The Office and Clubhouse: 

  • The office and clubhouse have been open with reduced manning up until now.

  • From Friday 8th January, the office and clubhouse will be closed and locked.

  • The toilets will be unavailable for use at either end of the building.

  • The office staff are all able to remotely work from home almost as effectively as they can on-site.

  • The phone line will be diverted to office staff at their home on a rota system and this will continue to be answered during normal office hours.

  • It is recommended that you instigate contact with the office via email as this will probably obtain the fastest response from the right person.

  • The office staff will be working their normal office hours each day.

  • One staff member will attend the office each day to check the clubhouse and collect post.

  • Any face to face meetings required should be booked in advance with the staff member concerned and undertaken outside when that staff member is rostered to be at the club.

The Yard, Boat Movements and Boatswains: 

  • From Friday all recreational boat movements will cease until further notice, both in and out.

  • The only exception to this will be a genuine emergency.

  • Commercial boat movements where the operator considers their commercial use is within the current lockdown guidelines for operations will be able to take place. The Boatswains are not the police in this regard, each operator needs to assess whether their commercial lift is deemed essential and within the law as it currently stands.

  • The Boatswains will continue to operate in their work as normal under the Covid risk assessments that the Senior Boatswain has put in place to protect his staff and other users of the yard (The law states that people should only go to work where they cannot work from home. The Boatswains work is almost all on-site and they have a task list to undertake alongside regular maintenance of equipment and services).

  • This work will include the daily enhanced check of all boats on SYC moorings and in the yard with a daily report being sent by the Senior Boatswain to the Chair of the Moorings and Maintenance Committee and other staff members who require to see it.

Southwick: 

  • The clubhouse will be locked shut with the toilets and showers out of use until further notice.

New Clubhouse: 

  • It is clear that even when we are offered the new clubhouse, we will be unable to open it for member access until after lockdown eases.

  • In the interim, the work to complete the externals will be undertaken, the club will move across and vacate the old clubhouse and as much work as possible will be done to prepare the new clubhouse so that I can welcome you into it as soon as we are allowed to operate the club fully once more.

  • In the same way as moving house, there is furniture to place, decorations to put on the walls, pictures etc, memorabilia to put out, the things that will transform the empty shell into our new home for decades to come.

Please bear with the inconvenience that this disease is placing on us as a consequence of its existence, let us hope the vaccination programme works as envisaged and that from February or March, restrictions may start to ease. It will be my greatest pleasure to write in more positive tones as we move out of the depths of winter and into the early buds of spring.

In other news, there is a team actively working on a full redevelopment of Shoreham moorings. This is a plan in several stages being put into action by a very enthusiastic team and lead by a new Director (to be). Stage one of this development, the provision of a landing stage and pontoon to support the very successful launch of our SUP Section (Stand Up PaddleBoard), also fully volunteer lead from start-up last year, should be set up in time for the warmer weather. I look forward to seeing this progress. 

Later this year will see the demolition of our old clubhouse, even if the start of work on the flood wall is delayed as it might due to budgetary issues and design complications that need to be addressed first. We are meeting very regularly with the team at Adur District Council and working towards the completion of this project in mutual cooperation. 

The AGM will still take place online. I am hoping to broadcast this from the new clubhouse but there is considerable work to be done to set up the IT and equipment in time. There is a plan B and a plan C and as such, login details for the AGM will not be provided until I know which plan is going to be the operable one. Please watch for the email which, like this one, will be sent both from the office to all members, and via the website to all those who subscribe to receive the notifications. 

Finally, on 18th December and at the beginning of this week, you should have been emailed your unique login details to allow you to vote at the AGM for the resolutions and election taking place. If you have not done so, please use your vote. If you cannot find your login, please email Agnes on secretary@sussexyachtclub.org.uk and she can send this again. Bear in mind it may be in your spam or junk folder and has come from Choice Voting, a web-based voting provider. 

Please stay safe, stay at home and stay well. 

In sailing

Kevin Headon
Commodore

7 January 2021