Coronavirus Update #08

Published Tue 12 May 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s announcements on Sunday evening and a review with my fellow Flag Officers and the Club’s Virus Task Group which include our in house medical experts, I am delighted to be able to start the re-opening of our club, albeit in a very limited way at this time. 

I will be constantly reviewing guidance from our medical advisors, RYA, Port Authority and the Government and will amend and advise you of any changes as soon as I am able via these newsletters.

We are all aware of the Government guidance and instructions on social distancing and stopping the spread of disease, so I do not have to spell out what members should and should not do at this time. That said I have proposed a way forward that will hopefully avoid confusion, anxiety or anger with an aim to keep everyone as safe as possible as we move into a new phase of this crippling, and let’s not forget potentially fatal, pandemic:


  • Shoreham and Southwick clubhouses will remain closed at this time and this is following Government advice on the opening of leisure facilities.
  • There will remain a member of staff on site each working day but communication should still be via email wherever possible.
  • I apologise but this does mean we cannot offer toilet facilities at this time.

Shoreham Boat Yard

  • The Yard at Shoreham will re-open on Wednesday 13th May for people to come down to their boats, inspect them and work on them.
  • We do not want to restrict numbers into the yard if we don’t have to.
  • Please be sensible and responsible for creating your own safe space around you.
  • Please do not socialise except at a safe distance unless with a family member or someone who lives with you.
  • Please advise the Office staff if you feel anyone is flouting these guidelines and putting themselves and others at heightened risk.

Boat Movements

  • Boat movements are expected to recommence from the first spring tides in June, most probably 3rd June.
  • Boatswains staff will be on site in the days before this to prepare the yard for boat movements.
  • Ben will be undertaking a new risk assessment for yard operations to be agreed with our medical advisor. Please observe this fully if you are involved in a boat movement.
  • If you have had a booking cancelled due to the lockdown, you will likely have been contacted by Ben last week when he temporarily returned from furlough. You will be the first to be offered a launch date.
  • If you require a lift out or launch and have not had a contact recently, please email and request one now.
    • Paula will return to the office after the May Bank Holiday and will contact everyone to arrange a date and a time for your boat movement.
    • We need to launch and lift out in the most efficient manner for the lay out of the yard and to allow us to satisfy as many boat owners as we can.
    • Please work with us and accept the date and time slot offered to avoid us having to move you out of the way to get to another boat.
    • This means being ready to go back in or come out and not cancelling at the last minute. Please help us to help you, both when Paula contacts you and on the day of your boat movement. Thank you. 

Moorings and Sailing

  • The moorings, jetties and pontoons will re-open on Wednesday 13th May for people to come down to their boats moored on the water.
  • Within the limits of the pontoon and your boat, please do everything you can to maintain a safe distance between you and others.
  • At the time of writing this newssheet on 12th May, there has not been any specific guidance on leisure sailing. The Harbourmaster is having meetings at this time and will directly communicate with Port users when they have decided on restrictions especially with regards transiting the locks.
  • If and when going out on your boat, it is suggested you only go out alone, with family or people who live with you and The Port may require you to confirm this in radio communications before you enter the locks.
  • They will also have strict rules on social distancing whilst in the lock, please follow these.

Organised Sailing and Training

  • This will be under constant review as we are all keen to recover a sailing programme however at this time there are no organised sailing activities or training courses being planned.
  • Please be assured that we are desperate to reintroduce racing and rallying for all disciplines of sailing, we will do so as soon as we are satisfied it can be managed safely and in accordance with Government and medical advice.

Bar and Restaurant

  • Only when HM Government advises that bars and/or restaurants may re-open will we consider opening ours. We expect to have restrictions on opening placed on us by the Government and will adhere strictly to these.
  • In the absence of clear direction, we will advise what we consider to be safe opening procedures which try to observe social distancing and keep people as safe as we are able. 

With my warmest wishes to you and welcome back!

Kevin Headon