I'm not sure what I have done to deserve the penance of trying to make sense of the government's COVID regulations and the RYA's COVID guidelines, but that seems to be my life at the moment. Changes made by both organisations this week mean that we need to make some changes to our COVID procedures if we want to remain on the right side of the law. Please read the following carefully as it applies to ALL members.

The fundamental change is that the club is required to keep contact details of EVERY visitor to the club premises. For participants in the racing we can use the sign on details you give us through the online system when you enter the race. For free sailors and those who leisure sail during the week we will introduce a similar online system that will allow you to register your visits (more details will be published here next week). For members doing club duties (OOD, safety boat, galley) we can use the dutyman records. These systems will cover the majority of visits to the club but there is still a significant minority of visits not covered - for example, family members watching the racing or freesailing, boat bimblers, contractors etc. For these visits we offer a couple of options for you - either complete one of the paper slips that will be available from the Members Room porch and post it in the box provided, OR if you have downloaded the government's contact tracing app, scan the club's QR code which you can find displayed at various points on the club premises.

The provisions for the continuation of amateur sport in the government regulations are VERY specific, and maintaining contact details for all visitors is a key requirement. It would be very easy for the authorities to close our activities down if we don't comply. Please take responsibility for recording every visit you make to the club using ONE of the systems described above.

We are now getting on top of a "spatially-distanced" launch and recovery process - thanks to you all. The biggest issue we have now are people onshore, watching the racing or free sailing. It is lovely to see people enjoying the club in this way, but the regulations are very clear that the "rule of six" must be followed in this situation. This means:

  • you must stay in a group or six or less, and
  • each group must be separated by 2m, and
  • individuals cannot move from group to group

A number of members have expressed concern about regulations not being followed onshore and we all need to be vigilant to ensure that the club is operating within the law.

Download ->  Starcross YC COVID-19 Secure Policy

The Club has been open for eight days now following the lockdown which began in March. Many Members have enjoyed the very pleasant weather and sailed, canoed or paddled on the river. It is sometimes difficult to maintain the social distancing rules but in general most people have adapted responsibly.

To make life a little easier, sanitiser dispensers have been placed at strategic points and shortly, wash hand basins will be placed outside the changing rooms to reduce the necessity of entry. Drinking water is available from the tap between Galley and Race Box.

Update 17 July: you may now sail a two-hander with a non-cohabiting crew - please observe precautions as in the Racing update. Social distancing ashore remains at two metres.

Please remember that all trapeze two-man boats are still excluded from single-handed use.

The Sailing Committee has produced a list of two-handed boats that may be sailed single-handed and another of those which are strictly not to be.

April is here, the evenings are lengthening, the open water beckons. And here we are, locked down at home. But help is at hand!

Starcross Yacht Club as a member of the RYA has signed up to free eSailing  software which enables all members to involve ourselves in some virtual water sport. Our thanks to Jane Hill, who has set everything up and tried it out successfully and is inviting you to take part in a virtual dinghy race this evening, April 2nd, at 19.00. All members should have received an e-mail last Tuesday with links to the RYA instruction document and the VR (Virtual Regatta) website.

To get to the races make sure you are signed in to the VR Inshore. Click into the custom race box then click join and put in the code which is in the e-mail.

There will be three races, limited to 20 boats each, and you will need some practice time with the app before you sail, so time is short! Good sailing!


We may be able to start using the Club facilities again soon, but not yet.

A decision as to whether the River Exe can be opened for leisure sailing will be made by the Harbourmaster on Wednesday May 13th based on regulations published today in the Government’s Recovery Strategy.

As of today May 11th at 17.00, England is still in lockdown, unlimited exercise will be allowed from Wednesday 13th and some sports will be allowed. The RYA understands water sports are included but has not confirmed it. In every case social distancing measures must be observed.

We have to be patient, we will return to sailing soon but the last thing we want is a second wave of infections and the re-introduction of total lockdown.

You will be informed as soon as things change. Please look at the Members' page on the website for messages.

The General Committee has spent some time putting together and implementing a plan of action which will enable everybody to safely use Club facilities and boats. Unfortunately we cannot return to things as they were. Coronavirus has changed all that. We hope to have lots of Free Sailing days with safety boat cover through the coming months. The Sailing Committee are looking at how some limited racing events might be held, and an update on this will be provided later.

The following changes will be introduced from this week:

The Starcross Steamer, a winter-months 2½-hour pursuit race for monohulls, has become one of the classic British open sailing events, drawing competitors from the length and breadth of Britain. 

In the Eighties the popularity of the Pompey Perisher and Bloody Mary annual pursuit races, attracting large entries of small boat racers, emphasised the vacuum of a similar event in the South West. The first Starcross Steamer was created in the early months of 1991 by SYC’s then Flag Captain, Nigel Bath. It has now been repeated in the early months of the New Year since that time. The 2020 event was therefore the 30th.