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.

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.


  • RS200
  • RS400
  • Merlin
  • National 12
  • Feva
  • Small cruising dinghies such as Mirror, Gull, Wanderer
  • Dart 18 and 15

Specifically excluded are all trapeze two-man boats, e.g. Hornet, Hurricane, Laser 2 , RS800, Fireball.

Please respect these rules to keep safe and reduce the risk of accidents. Check your rig to avoid breakages and do a wind speed check before 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.

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!


The winning entry in the 2020 Starcross Steamer Photo is Winter Tranquility by Olly Greenslade,
taken from ashore after a long 2½ hours' racing

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