As you are probably aware new COVID restrictions were due to become law on 14th September - with the possibility these will be enforced by the police and/or COVID 'marshalls'. The RYA's latest published advice suggests that amateur dinghy racing is still a permitted activity if the club (along with other organisations where more than 30 people may gather) adopts a "COVID Secure Policy" and ensures that all club members are aware of its content. So with the help of the club officers I have pulled together a SYC - COVID Secure Policy document that details all the policies the club have put in place to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

The experience we have of freesailing and racing for the last few weeks has demonstrated that we can do these activities safely, but the biggest risk area is clearly the launching and recovery of boats. Although we have been using a Beachmaster to help control these activities, the onus must be on individual participants to not break the 2m social distancing rule at these times. If you can't get on to the slipway area or the foreshore without maintaining 2m distance from all other participants - please just wait until it clears. The OOD will not start the race until everyone has had a chance to launch. The same principles apply to coming ashore - if it's busy just wait on the water for a few minutes.

As it looks as if we will be dealing with COVID-19 well into next year and we are anticipating that we will need to update our COVID Secure Policy periodically to reflect changing legislation and developments at the club.

The COVID Secure Policy will only provide cover for the club to continue with freesailing and racing if club members have read it (and follow the polices and procedures contained within it. So please DOWNLOAD it, or read the hard copies that will be available at the club.

Download ->  Starcross YC COVID-19 Secure Policy

Update:  Autumn Programme is now available here

After reviewing the experience with racing over recent weeks, the Club has now decided to extend the racing programme to the end of 2020.  Essentially we will be returning to the normal Autumn Series programme with the four main fleets (Assy, Fast, Slow, and Multi) that we use for our club series race format - with juniors racing in the slow handicap fleet but with separate results extracted.  We will also be holding the RNLI pursuit race and the Boxing Day and Winter Woolley trophy races as usual.  In accordance with current club policy we have cancelled the Topper open training/racing event, and other social events.

The changes to the normal racing we have made to accommodate COVID restrictions are:

  • race entry will continue with the online system - no entry on the day
  • one race only per day
  • two safety boats will be launched and there will be no limits for the OOD on the number of inflatable buoys used when setting courses (within reason!)
  • average wind speed must  be forecast to be 16 knots or less - OOD's will generally make the call, but Robin Charles (Vice-Commodore) may cancel the race if he deems the forecast is too risky (for example if temporary storms are forecast to pass through during the race)
  • the changing rooms and club house will remain closed - but the club will try to maintain a limited kiosk galley service when the weather permits
  • beachmaster(s) will be allocated for each race - but they will also be able to participate in the racing

The full programme with allocated duties will hopefully be published next week.


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 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!


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