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Update 18: Returning to Normality (from March 1 2022)

The Government has announced it will be removing the remaining Covid-19 legal restrictions (i.e. regulations) from the end of February 2022. This does not mean Covid-19 has gone away but reflects the progress made in managing it - chiefly through the widespread deployment of highly effective vaccines, the availability of increasingly effective treatments, and the large numbers of people with some degree of natural immunity from prior infection. Despite this, Government wants people to continue to take care - especially when assessing the risks to those who may remain vulnerable - but believes that decisions on what this means can be left to individuals.

In the light of this the Club has decided we can remove the special arrangements we put in place for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Instead, we are leaving it up to members to take their own decisions on any measures they want to retain. This decision is reflected in our 2022 Sailing Instructions. Please do take a look at them. Please also respect members who may take a more cautious attitude to Covid than you.

Update 17: Step 4 (from July 19 2021)

On July 19 th 2021 when England moved to Step 4 on the Government's Road Map most of the legal restrictions previously implemented were ended. In their place the Government urged the public to continue to act cautiously but left the decisions on what this meant to individuals.

Revised guidance

While the Government has removed the previous restrictions, it has kept in place certain measures including:

  • testing when you have symptoms and targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk;
  • isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace or when advised to by the NHS COVID-19 app;
  • expecting and recommending that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport;
  • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

From July 19th members of WWSC are asked to remain cautious and sensible and to respect other member's concerns as to the need for distancing or wearing of masks as they enjoy activities at the Club.

For more information see "Moving to step 4 of the roadmap".

With these relaxations WWSC can resume its onshore social activities however we will do so cautiously and meet out of doors wherever possible.

Previous Updates:

Update 16: From Step 2 to Step 3 (on 17 May 2021)

It's good news that further relaxations to Covid restrictions were introduced yesterday in line with the Government's Road Map. In response we have once again updated our Covid Policy to reflect this. The main changes affecting WWSC are:

  • The limit on "gatherings" outdoors is now 30 people and indoors it's 6 people or 2 households. (A "gathering" is a group of people interacting with each other or doing an activity together.) We hope this may enable some types of social events outdoors.
  • Social distancing restrictions, in particular the "1-metre plus rule", remain in place between people from different households. However, Government now says you can choose to relax this rule when meeting your friends and family provided you do so "cautiously". We hope this may help us with unfilled Roster duties sharing powerboats (see below).
  • Venues that offer hospitality (e.g. other sailing clubs in the harbour) are now allowed to do so indoors. This is subject to the "Rule of 6" and social distancing between those from different households still applies. This should make our planned supper cruises easier.

Impact on volunteering for shared duties

The flexibility for us "cautiously" to relax the "1 metre plus rule" when meeting friends and family makes it difficult for WWSC to issue hard and fast advice for our members. The position we are therefore taking is that:

  • Members who choose to take a more relaxed approach to social distancing while at the Club meeting their friends or family should be clear that they do so at their own risk (e.g. if they share a boat together);
  • Where members choose to do this, they should check with the others involved that they are equally happy to relax the rules; and
  • Members should always respect the wishes of those who prefer to retain the "1 metre plus rule" when sailing or doing duties together.

We do hope that this flexibility will make it easier for some of our members to volunteer for Duty Roster roles. In response to the change we are no longer asking members to sign up as pairs and encourage any members willing to do shared powerboat duties as individuals utilising this greater flexibility to volunteer via the online Roster. At the same time, we recognise this is entirely a matter for our members and will continue to welcome those who prefer to partner with someone from their household.

Finally, I'm sure we are all aware that variants of the virus continue to pose risks. Also, by no means everyone has yet been vaccinated and, even if they have, vaccines are never 100% effective. So, once again, I urge all WWSC members to continue to abide by the rules and to err on the side of caution if in any doubt.

Update 15: From Step 1 to Step 2 (on 12 April 2021)

It's great that the progress on measures to control the pandemic means we will be transitioning from Step 1 to 2 on April 12 as planned. In preparation for this we have been hard at work ensuring the Club does everything required by the Regulations and Guidance to be allowed to reopen the running of events at WWSC. This has meant overhauling our Covid Policy and Risk Assessments which are a legal requirement for the Club to operate and reviewing what they mean to how events are run. You can read all about our arrangements in the link at the top of this article. A separate Newsletter explains how we are resuming rental of Club dinghies, opening up online booking for a whole raft of sailing events for adults and juniors, and kicking off our packed 2021 racing season on April 17.

There is a lot to take in so we have produced the diagram below to summarise the main implications for WWSC. It not only shows how the "rules" affect Steps 1 & 2 but also how they change as (hopefully) we make progress to Step 4. As always, we are dependent on all our members for following the rules - both to protect each other and the Club's reputation and to play our part in the continued efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

Update 14: The Spring 2021 Road Map (22 Feb 2021)

The Government's Spring 2021 Road Map was published on February 22 and the Club will revise its Policy and Guidelines as necessary as rules are gradually relaxed in accordance with the Road Map. Please note: The dates in the Road Map below are dependent on the progress made in fighting the virus and so may need to be changed.

The first step in the Road Map happens on March 8th so until then the regulations and guidance applicable during the National Lockdown continue to apply (see below).

Update 13: National Lockdown (7 Jan 2021)

On January 4 th 2021 the Prime Minister announced that a national lockdown was to be imposed throughout England with a request that people respond immediately to the new rules. As a consequence we have had to update our advice to members and revise again our Covid-19 Policy.

As it is now mid-winter there aren't any planned Club activities taking place and virtually all members have collected remaining items from Club premises. So below are our key messages:

  • The Club premises are closed. Even if we wanted to, the Club is not permitted to be open or to organise any activities under the current restrictions.
  • Our first programmed activity is in March the traditional Working Party to prepare the Hard and Car Park areas for the new season. This will only go ahead if the restrictions permit and we will issue further advice on this nearer the time.
  • The regulations require us all to stay at home and only leave home with "reasonable excuse". This includes taking exercise locally once per day.
  • The RYA guidance is that private sailing (or other water-based activities) are permitted if it this is the way you choose to take your exercise. However, it must take place in a public outdoor space that should be close to your home (i.e. you must stay local) and it must not involve accessing a Club's private premises. You may only exercise with someone from your own household or one other person. You should also abide by the rules on social distancing and not do anything which risks placing a burden on emergency services.
  • The Harbour Conservancy have posted a statement that "Recreational boating is contrary to Government guidance and has the potential to place extra strain on emergency services" which clearly discourages any form of boating in the Harbour.

The Club asks all our members to adhere scrupulously to the new rules and, if in any doubt, to err on the side of caution. It is clear that the challenge to the National Health Service is currently greater than it has been at any time during the pandemic and, irrespective of the fine print, we must all do our utmost to help bring the spread of the virus under control.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 12: New Tier 4 (23 Dec 2020)

On December 19th the Prime Minister introduced a more stringent set of restrictions that apply to people in the new Tier 4 "Stay at Home" areas. He also severely curtailed the previously announced relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period. On December 23 it was announced that West Wittering (and all of Sussex) would move into Tier 4 from Boxing Day (December 26). Our sympathies are with all those whose Christmas plans have been affected by this. The implications of being in Tier 4 are explained on the Government website here and also in our updated Covid-19 Policy and guidance.

As it is December there aren't any planned Club activities taking place. However, there are a few members who may still need to remove their boats and equipment from the Club and possibly some hardy ones who may wish to sail privately over the winter. Below are the key messages:

  • From Boxing Day, unless you live in West Wittering, you should not visit the Club. So if you have equipment still there please email the Secretary describing what items remain. The Club and its premises are now closed.
  • No Club activities are programmed until March 2021 when our new season is planned to begin with the traditional Working Party to prepare the Hard and Car Park areas for the new season. This will only go ahead if the restrictions permit and further advice will be issued nearer the time.
  • Members living locally who wish to exercise by using their boats may do so but must not use Club facilities. The Parish chains can be used if members wish.
  • If you do plan to use a boat, please adhere at all times to the Tier 4 restrictions governing travel, staying overnight in the village and meeting other people. Don't take any risks that could lead to you needing assistance from the emergency services. Members have been informed of the RYA guidance on the risks of people from different households sailing together. This says it is up to members to assess and control these risks. In Tier 4 you may only exercise outdoors with members of your own household (or bubble), or with one other person (in which case social distancing rules apply).

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 11: New Covid Rules - What they mean for WWSC (4 Dec 2020)

The ending of the national lockdown on December 2nd has been accompanied by the issue of new regulations and guidance. This Newsletter briefly summarises the implications for the Club:

  • Members can now visit the Club to remove boats and equipment (unless their home is in a Tier 3 area). We have extended the deadline for taking away your belongings until December 31st. Please help us by completing this as soon as you can.
  • Apart from removing boats and accessing the Engine Store and Lean-to in order to take away your oars, sails and other belongings, the Club is closed and the water has been switched off for winter. Please don't try to enter the Hut.
  • Private recreational sailing is, however, allowed although any members who wish to do so must not use Club facilities or keep their boat on the Club chains. We also ask you to exercise extreme care so as not to risk burdening emergency services.

More generally we ask all our members to continue to respect the regulations and guidance which we have summarised in our updated Covid Policy. The key messages are:

  • West Wittering is currently subject to Tier 2 restrictions which mean you must not meet with anyone from outside your own household indoors; outdoors the "Rule of 6" applies. Over the "Christmas period" (December 23-27) the indoor limits are being relaxed to allow up to 3 households to form a "Christmas bubble".
  • All the now familiar social distancing requirements continue to apply.
  • We are all asked to reduce the number of journeys we make (which is why we have tried to give members plenty of time to arrange to pick up their boats etc.). If you live in a Tier 3 area you should not travel to West Wittering at present so please let us know if this prevents you from removing your boat or equipment.

We are currently very busy planning a great programme for 2021 when we all hope the welcome news of at least 3 effective vaccines will enable a return to something like normality. We are also working hard on all the renewals and boat plaque requests and will provide further updates before Christmas.

In the meantime, seasons greetings to all our members. Keep safe!

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 10: "The new Lockdown" (5 Nov 2020)

On 5 November the Government replaced the 3 sets of regulations that apply within each tier of the Medium, High and Very High Risk Zones with a single set of regulations that require an England-wide lockdown until at least December 2. The new regulations prohibit people from leaving their homes (their primary residence) without "reasonable excuse". Among the "reasonable excuses" are:

  • Buying goods from a business that is permitted to remain open (e.g. a supermarket)
  • Taking exercise alone, with other members of their household or "bubble", or with one other person in a public outdoor space
  • Visiting an outdoor public place for recreation with members of their household or "bubble", or with one other person
  • Going to work, if it is not reasonably practicable to work from home

The new regs also restrict gatherings (defined as previously as 2 or more people being in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction or undertake any activity with each other). The restrictions on gatherings are:

  • No one may gather indoors (unless it is with people who are all from the same household or "bubble")
  • No one may gather outdoors with more than one other person (unless the people are all from the same household or "bubble"). Children below the age of 5 do not count to the total. When gathering with someone outside your household the existing guidance on social distancing should be followed.

There are exceptions to the above, but none relate to the activities of sailing clubs.

The main impact of the Regulations and Guidance on WWSC activities

  • From midnight on Wednesday November 4th the Club car park, boat park and Hut will be closed to members. Members should not visit the Club or their boat (if it is in the car park) until the lockdown ends unless to do so is essential. We cannot foresee why that situation would arise. Members may therefore leave their boats and equipment at the Club during the lockdown.
  • The Hard is a public place and so members may visit their boat(s) there as part of a permitted outdoor recreational activity but only with members of their household or with one person and so long as when doing so they do not access the Club.
  • The Club season has finished but, even if it hadn't, we would not be able to run any organised activities during this lockdown period as to do so would be unlawful.
  • Members are advised not to travel to Snowhill and the Hard if they are not already at their West Wittering home (unless the visit is essential). Visits to a second home are not permitted (unless it is necessary for work or another permitted activity).

We have updated our Covid Policy to reflect these changes. We urge members to continue to comply with the regulations and guidance and so help the Club play its part in reducing the spread of the virus in the community.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 9: "The new 3-Tier Rules" (21 Oct 2020)

Under the new 3-Tier system, the regulations and guidance governing WWSC activities now depend on which Tier Zone is designated both for the area where a member lives as well as for the Club itself. So, for example, if you live in London but sail at West Wittering, restrictions relating to more than just one of the three Tier Zones could be relevant. We have updated our Policy and guidance material to reflect this.

Under the new system the rules covering the sailing once you are out on the water are the same in each Zone and follow the same approach as in the previous regulations. Sailing activities organised by the Club and following RYA advice continue to be permitted. The "Rule of 6" for gatherings on land and within a single vessel remains in place in all 3 zones. However, in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Zones there are additional restrictions on gatherings which go beyond the "Rule of 6".

  • In Tier 3 "Very High Risk" Zones you are not permitted to gather with anyone who is from outside your household (or support bubble) whether this is indoors or outdoors (with certain exceptions).
  • In Tier 2 "High Risk" Zones" you are not permitted to gather with anyone who is from outside your household (or support bubble) indoors (with certain exceptions). The "Rule of 6" applies to outdoor gatherings.

So far as WWSC is concerned, the main impact of this is how it affects members visiting the Club. Under the 3-Tier approach:

  • Travel into or out of a Tier 3 "Very High Risk" Zone is against Government guidance unless such travel is "essential" or you are simply passing through and not stopping. This means that members living in these Zones should not visit the Club unless the Club is also in the same Tier 3 Zone. If they do visit the Club for an essential reason, members should avoid meeting anyone not in their household (or support bubble) both indoors and outdoors.
  • Government guidance does not restrict travel within or out of a Tier 2 "High Risk" Zone (unless it means visiting a Tier 3 Zone) to venues or amenities that are open, or for work or education. Instead the message is to reduce the number of journeys where possible. This means that members living in a Tier 2 Zone can visit the Club (provided the Club is not in a Tier 3 Zone) however such members should not socialise with anyone indoors who is not from their own household (or support bubble).
  • Members living in a Tier 1 "Medium Risk" Zone may continue to visit the Club so long as the Club is not in a Tier 3 Zone. If this means such members are moving from a Tier 1 into a Tier 2 Zone, they must follow the restrictions in the Tier 2 Zone by not socialising indoors with anyone who is not in their household (or support bubble).

You can read more about the latest rules here.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 8: "The Rule of 6" (14 Sept 2020)

WWSC's Covid-19 Team has reviewed the impact of the revised Regulations and Guidance on the activities of the Club and has updated our policy and guidance web page providing detailed information.

The most important change is that it is now an offence for more than 6 people to "gather" indoors or outdoors unless they are all from the same household. Previously, although 6 was the limit set out in Guidance, the legal limit in the Regulations themselves was higher at 30.

The Regulations define "gathering" as people socialising or carrying out any activity together on land (or onboard a single vessel) and the limit of 6 applies whether or not you are socially distancing within a gathering by being "1m-plus" apart. The RYA has however confirmed you are not gathering when you are out on the water and sailing together in different boats.

WWSC has consistently based its approach and its advice to members on the lower limit of 6 in the Guidance so we don't need to change the measures we already have in place. However, we do operate in a very public place and are seen by some as being responsible for all the boating activities in the Creek. So we issue this appeal to all our members:

  • Please will you conspicuously avoid "gathering" anywhere on land in a group that is larger than 6.
  • This applies everywhere but in particular on the Hard and Snowhill Green, at East Head, or anywhere on the Club premises.
  • Forming a group that is larger than 6 will be to risk criticism and the possibility of you or the Club being reported to the Police.

We know this isn't easy. So in what remains of this season let's all help each other comply and build on the successful measures we have operated over the summer. Thanks.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 7: Post-July 4 Relaxations (30 June 2020)

We have updated our Covid Policy and the Appendices describing how the latest Government guidance affects the Club from July 4.

There are a lot of changes (e.g. members with second homes in the village can now stay there overnight), businesses offering hospitality can reopen (albeit subject to many restrictions), but these changes do not significantly alter the restrictions on our ability to organise events involving groups of members, where the limit of 6 people from different households remains for activities outdoors on public land or in private dwellings. This limit also applies onboard a single vessel but, importantly, not between a group of vessels afloat.

The new "1m plus" rule still asks us all to stay 2m apart unless this is not possible (in which case other measures have to be taken to reduce risk), so this change also does little to make life easier for the Club. Despite all this, we are planning to run some Junior sailing in July including a re-designed Junior Week 2020. We are also looking at how racing might be run during Regatta Week. Members will be updated in Newsletters.

The new guidance imposes the 6-people limit on visits to clubs, pubs and restaurants which will be allowed to reopen from July 4 but only by adhering to measures to make sure they are "Covid-19 secure". Therefore members should not arrive at the Club premises in groups exceeding this number and if visiting any other Clubs in the Harbour should also be careful to observe it. While on the premises, the Green, or the Hard please try to minimise social interactions that go beyond this 6 person group size. Clubs are also being asked to keep records of those attending so this information could be used by the Test & Trace service should a local outbreak occur and WWSC is examining how best to do this.

There are signs that some members of the public think these relaxations mean the danger has past when, in fact, we are still in a precarious position. So we do urge all WWSC members to act as ambassadors for the Club in demonstrating our adherence to this latest guidance which is needed to prevent local flare-ups or a possible second wave of infections in the UK during a period when the virus is still very much in circulation.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 6: Re-starting Club Activities - Next Steps (19 June 2020)

Over the past couple of weeks several clubs in the Harbour have begun to run club sailing events in a limited way. At WWSC we are following these developments closely and paying particular attention to the very detailed guidance provided by our national governing body, the RYA. Based on this guidance, the Club's Covid Team has agreed a Covid Policy which we've published along with a wider suite of documents to help explain our approach to operating in the current crisis.

Our approach reflects the RYA's emphasis on always following Government guidance, being considerate to other users and exercising caution to minimise risk. We are aware that WWSC is expanding our activities beyond "private sailing" more slowly than some other local clubs. This reflects our determination to abide strictly by current regulations and guidance (following the advice of RYA on this) and always remembering our responsibilities not just to our members but also the wider local community as we all work together to navigate a safe path through the pandemic.

The Regulations and Guidance we are operating under are complicated and changing - for those who are interested, we have provided the relevant extracts on our website. A particular challenge all clubs face as they move forward is the current Regulation prohibiting the organisation of any outdoor events which involve "gatherings" of more than 6 people in one place (irrespective of whether or not they maintain the "2m rule" during the activity). So long as this rule remains in place, it will be impossible to conduct racing or training as in past, but we are developing plans to comply by creating events based around this small group size.

I am pleased to say that from this weekend we are able to take some modest steps towards resuming club activity. Our club dinghies are now available for hire (see below) and we will also be running two small Oppie sessions.

Operating organised sailing under the current restrictions is challenging and we will be using the weekend's events to help test and develop our approach to running events during the rest of the Summer. Our aim for 2020 is to ensure that WWSC offers something for all over the prime weeks of our season. Our plan is to hold events in both Junior Week and Regatta Week, even if both these will necessarily be rather different to usual. Obviously, if the rules are further relaxed before then, this will get easier.

Please stay safe, continue to abide by the rules, and bear with us as we do our best to get as many members back sailing again.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 5: WWSC Approach to Resuming Activities (4 June 2020)

Thanks to those of you who responded to my email of 27 May seeking views on the resumption of the Club's sailing programme. Working with a small 'Covid Sub Group' we have studied these views carefully alongside the guidance we are getting from the RYA and from our contacts with other sailing clubs. On the strength of this the Committee has concluded that we should not expand activities beyond private sailing until at least the end of June. Our reasons for this are set out below.

Our current position remains that:

  • Only "private sailing" should be taking place from Snowhill.
  • Members who are from different households should observe social distancing at all times and not gather outdoors (e.g. on the Hard or in the car park) in groups of more than 6
  • The Club House remains closed and members should not enter it.
  • The Engine Store and Sail Store may be accessed, but only by one member at a time.
  • Members should bring hand sanitiser with them and use it before and after touching gates, locks, doors, taps, etc. and before and after entering the Engine Store or Sail Store.
  • Even though it is natural to assist others with the launching and recovery of boats members should avoid touching boats and trolleys owned by other households.
  • We urge all members to adhere to both the letter and spirit of the Government's Covid-19 guidance and to support each other in doing this. To make this easier we are improving Covid-19 signage at the Club.

The Covid Subgroup will continue to work on detailed plans for:

  • enabling rental of club dinghies,
  • resuming some form of Club racing,
  • offering some re-designed adult and junior training events

Alice McMillan, our Treasurer, is developing proposals for reduced subscriptions and/or fees in 2021 to reflect the impact on members of our reduced 2020 offering.

Tash Price, our Social Secretary, is re-thinking other parts of our programme so we can run events while still remaining inside the guidelines.

Please look out for our Newsletters for updates on all this.

Our reasons for reaching this decision

At the meeting the Committee noted:

  • WWSC is the largest social club in our village and has a responsibility to this community which comprises a high proportion of older people who are more at risk, including many who are our members.
  • We have been warned we are at a "dangerous moment" in the country's journey through the pandemic as a number of restrictions are being eased simultaneously at a time when the estimated number of daily infections remains high and with the important "Test & Trace" system as yet unproven. Among these relaxations is the reopening of WW Estate's car park which has led to a much larger influx of people into our village.
  • There are signs all around us that these changes have tended to lead to less stringent compliance with the revised restrictions that remain, perhaps because people wrongly believe the relaxations mean the danger has passed.
  • However much we love it, extending recreational sailing from the Creek is not as important a priority as, for example, reopening schools and other essential services, and enabling those businesses threatened by Covid to trade again.
  • The response to the Club's recent questionnaire showed no widespread demand for us to make further changes with some members asking us not to act too quickly. This echoes RYA advice, which is for Clubs to move slowly and cautiously, carefully reviewing the impact of changes as they proceed.
  • Finally, the Committee felt that, while the idea of "supported private sailing" was attractive in theory, managing it safely in practice would be much more difficult, with the risks of introducing it too great at present.

It will be at least 2-3 weeks before the impact of the recent relaxations on both national and local rates of infection is known. We concluded, therefore, that it would be prudent for WWSC to wait until at least the end of June before making any further changes.

I appreciate this may be disappointing for some but hope this message explains how carefully we have considered the issues. So:

  • Stay safe everyone
  • Keep observing the restrictions so we all play our part in preventing transmission of the virus
  • And then, hopefully, we will be able to make further changes next month.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Impact on 2020 Membership applications (2 June 2020)

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Club's planned programme of activities the Club has reluctantly decided that it needs to put all further applications for Family Membership on hold until next season. For more info click here.

Update 4 (13 May 2020)

Coronavirus: Advice to members following revised Government statements on restrictions

Your Committee has reviewed carefully the latest advice issued by the UK Government and, in particular, the guidance on what you can now do when leaving your home to exercise and spend time outdoors for recreation (see here). We have also taken into account statements issued in the last few days by the RYA and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

A common message running through all this material is the need for everyone to act cautiously given the risk that hasty action to relax restrictions could contribute to a second peak of infections on a scale which could overwhelm the NHS. Our decisions below have been guided by this concern.

The Government guidance includes the following:

All forms of water sports practised on open waterways including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed.

It adds:

There are no restrictions on how far you can travel to get to the countryside. However, you cannot visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home. To stay safe, you must take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors and keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times.

The Conservancy has today confirmed "Chichester Harbour is open for recreational boating as described above" [i.e. in the Government statement] and says they "welcome a return to some form of normality for harbour users". The RYA is encouraging Clubs to take steps to facilitate a resumption of sailing but to plan carefully and proceed cautiously.

Advice to Members

We have therefore concluded that as a first step:

  1. It is now reasonable for WWSC members to use their boats on a private basis and at their own risk subject to this being possible without contravening any of the current Covid-19 secure restrictions issued by Government (see below for further guidance).
  2. As part of this, members holding the required plaques may from now on place their boats on the Club chains or in the car park (see below). [NB Your membership packs included an explanation of the new plaque arrangements or look here.]
  3. The Club Hut will remain out of bounds and should not be entered by members.
  4. Members may use the car park and access the lean-to and engine store but must bring and use hand sanitiser before and after touching the locks/gates/doors. We will aim to leave pedestrian gates open so those on foot or bicycle need not touch them.
  5. We feel it is still too early for the Club to resume racing, training or face-to-face shore-based social activities all of which are cancelled until further notice. Similarly we will not yet be making Club dinghies available for renting. We will keep all this under review as the situation develops.

Further Guidance

  1. We ask members to consider the following before bringing a boat to the Creek or using it there:
    • Can I do this by travelling directly between my primary residence and the Creek without interacting with any people outside my own household or entering any buildings? (WWSC does not wish to encourage members to do anything that could increase the risk of transmission between different households or communities. NB there remains a prohibition on travel to visit second homes.)
    • Am I or anyone in my household showing coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating? If so, you should stay at home - this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.
    • Can I maintain social distancing of at least 2m from anyone who is not in my own household throughout my boating activity?
    • Can I do it without needing to enter the Club Hut?
    • Have I brought with me the required hand sanitiser? (The Club will provide some outside the Hut but you should not rely on this.)
  2. To avoid any potential overcrowding, there will this year be no fixed time from which you may take your boat down. Instead we are asking members to use common sense and, if necessary, wait inside their car until there is sufficient space to unload and rig their boats. Our new plaque arrangements guarantee there will be enough spaces on the chains and in the car park for every boat with a plaque, so there is no need for anyone to rush.
  3. Many members will not be able to take boats down to the Creek due to the current restrictions or may not wish to. We are therefore asking those who do place their boat(s) on the chains to try so far as possible to use the same location(s) as last year. Please don't use this as an opportunity to "pinch" someone else's favourite spot on the chains!
  4. Finally, we do not want any WWSC member to risk a situation that could lead to someone else having to come to their assistance. There will be no Club Safety Boats. This means that anyone venturing out should be absolutely confident the conditions are appropriate to their abilities and that their boat is in seaworthy condition. If you are in any doubt about this, you should NOT use your boat.

A Final Reminder

If you choose to take your boat down and/or use a boat from the Creek it is your responsibility to satisfy yourself that you are acting in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the current Coronavirus restrictions. As always, it is you that is responsible for the safety of anyone sailing your boat or who is a Third Party affected by its use.

I am sure we all appreciate the need to do everything we can to comply with all the restrictions so as to play our part in protecting the NHS and other caring services, thereby saving lives and supporting our communities.

Thank you and keep safe,

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 3 (20 April 2020)

No recreational boating, Club closed, all events until at least mid-May are cancelled

Following the Government's decision to extend the lockdown restrictions by at least 3 weeks (i.e. until at least May 7), the Club has decided to cancel all originally programmed events until mid-May. Those who kindly volunteered for duties at these events may stand down. All other advice from the Club on coronavirus remains in place (see below).

We are running some special online events to enable members to maintain contact until we can all meet in person again. These events include the Commodore's "Lockdown Quiz" (see here) and Tom Walker's Virtual WWSC Regatta (see here). News on all these special events will be issued in Club Newsletters.

On Friday March 27 the Harbour Conservancy issued a Notice containing the message that "Recreational boating is contrary to this [the latest Government Coronavirus] advice and has the potential to place extra strain on emergency services", see here.

Please would all members now comply with this.

With no recreational boating activities permitted, there is now no reason for any member to access the Club premises or take their boat down to the Hard or to the Club car park. Until further notice therefore all our facilities should be regarded as "closed" and "Boats Down" day will be re-scheduled once the coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

I am sure we all appreciate the need to do everything we can to comply with all the restrictions so as to play our part in protecting the NHS and other caring services, thereby saving lives and supporting our communities.

Thank you and keep safe,

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 2 (27 March)

This morning (Friday March 27) the Harbour Conservancy issued a Notice containing the message that "Recreational boating is contrary to this [the latest Government Coronavirus] advice and has the potential to place extra strain on emergency services", see here.

Please would all members now comply with this.

With no recreational boating activities permitted, there is now no reason for any member to access the Club premises or take their boat down to the Hard or to the Club car park. Until further notice therefore all our facilities should be regarded as "closed" and "Boats Down" day will be re-scheduled once the coronavirus restrictions are relaxed.

I am sure we all appreciate the need to do everything we can to comply with all the restrictions so as to play our part in protecting the NHS and other caring services, thereby saving lives and supporting our communities.

Thank you and keep safe,

Ivan Western, Commodore

Update 1 (26 March)

We have reviewed the messages I sent out to all WWSC members last Monday morning (see below) in the light of the tighter Coronavirus rules set out by the Prime Minister in his broadcast later that evening which in effect amounted to a lock down for those of us who are not engaged in essential work.

The Government has now ordered that none of us should leave our homes, other than to work, buy essential supplies or to take exercise once each day. Some members who live in the vicinity of the Club and whose boats are kept so close to the water that they may be wheeled down (or perhaps are already down) may determine that they can take that exercise by sailing their boats.

The Club has no view on this. However, I do urge members to respect the letter and spirit of the Government's announcement in relation to taking exercise, so that if they do choose to use their boats, they do so in a manner which complies with the Government's requirements only to take exercise with those in the same household and at all times keeping at least two meters apart from all others. I would also like to re-emphasise my previous message that members should avoid entering the Club Hut so far as possible and, if they do, assume it could be contaminated.

Hopefully, by complying with these restrictions, we will before too long all be able once again to enjoy the delights of sailing together.

Ivan Western, Commodore

Original 23 March Message

After consultation with Flag Officers, the Commodore issued the following message today (23/3/2020):

It will be no surprise to members that the Club will not be running social events or organised sailing activities for the foreseeable future. Clearly we want to do everything we can to support the national effort to resist the spread of the Coronavirus which inevitably means enforcing social distancing, cancelling group activities and discouraging all but essential travel.

I am sure that all of our members will understand and support this approach. We will obviously update members as events unfold but for the mean time please see the notes below which set out the approach the Club is taking.

Junior & Training Programme

We will not be opening booking for our Club Junior Programme or for any other training events for the time being. We will provide ample notice to everyone as and when this changes.

Club Racing and Social Programme

All events scheduled for April are cancelled as of today and those who have volunteered for duties may stand down. It currently seems unlikely that we will be able to resume our programme for some time beyond this but will keep you advised.

Private Sailing

We recognise that some members may wish to sail privately over the next few weeks. Our advice to members is "Please only do this if it is consistent with the coronavirus restrictions".

Sailing is not an essential activity, so, under current guidance on social-distancing, non-permanent residents of West Wittering should not travel to the village purely to sail. To do so increases the risk of the virus being spread between different communities.

Taking Your Boat to the Beach/Car Park

In line with the above, members based in West Wittering are free to take their boats down as scheduled next weekend but they should follow social distancing guidance. Please note that because of the new system we have introduced, there is no need to rush to secure yourself a slot on the beach or in the Car Park. We have taken great care only to issue the same number of plaques as there are spaces on the Hard and in the Car Park. So you if the restrictions on travel mean you are not able to come to West Wittering for the time being or if you will not be sailing for some time, don't worry, you will not lose your boat place (assuming you have purchased a plaque).

Use of Club Hut

We recommend members avoid using the Club Hut other than for storing of sails, oars and engines. We don't employ a regular cleaner so those using the Club Hut should assume it could be contaminated and take the appropriate precautions (wash hands) if they use its facilities. Members should not leave their waste in the Hut but take it home.

Ivan Western, Commodore

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Last updated 16:58 on 21 July 2022

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