Covid-19 Return to Sailing

With the 'Lockdown' restrictions  being eased slightly to allow sport for exercising, the Committee has been meeting regularly to create a plan going forward to help get our sailors back onto the water.  This will obviously have to be done in stages as restrictions are still very tight.  We have been guided by the Government guidelines and the RYA, who have published two sets of guidance notes.  


We are getting back on the water, but you won’t be surprised to hear that it will not be business as usual. The current regulations allow us to sail for exercise but not to operate the club with its normal range of training, racing and social activities. These activities are not considered exercise.   We are developing a plan to provide as much opportunity for as many members as possible to get as much sailing exercise as possible. We plan to introduce sailing activity in two stages.


Stage One - Return to sailing for members with their own boats


From Wednesday 20th May, ESC members can use their own craft at Ely Sailing Club Please note that Club Equipment and Club Boats are not available.


From Wednesday you can come to the club on any day of the week and use your own craft to sail on our water. In addition to our normal Sailing Rules and Club Bye-laws there are some supplementary measures that you will be required to observe in relation to the additional risks that the Covid -19 virus presents to our well-being.


These measures are in place to encourage members to come to the club to exercise, in the knowledge that the risks on our site are being managed and minimised. We are confident that after our period of Lockdown the principle of looking after each other by following the recommended guidance is well understood and will be respected by our members.


In drawing up these procedures we have followed Government and RYA guidance.

Our additional Covid-19 measures include –


  • You should not come to the club if you have Covid-19 symptoms. If you have had contact with a work colleague, family or household member who is unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19 you should not attend the club for a minimum of 14 days

  • We must practice social distancing at all times, on and off the water. This means that you cannot sail your boat with anyone who is not in your household as a crew, additionally we should avoid touching other members’ craft or trolleys.

  • Should members fail to maintain social distancing, the club may have to impose a limit to the number of boats on the water at any one time, or even stop sailing completely.

  • The clubhouse is closed and none of the facilities of the clubhouse are available; this means there are no toilets available on site for your use. You may decide to get changed at home – please be discreet if you are changing on the car park!

  • Caution will be required when opening and closing the gates; the use of gloves and /or hand sanitiser should be considered. The gate should remain closed to avoid casual visits by other users.

  • The water is open to enable you to exercise, not socialise, i.e. please don’t come for a BBQ or picnic, or come to the club in groups.

  • Sail conservatively i.e. sail well within your capabilities to avoid accidents and 999 calls. Remember that you are sailing independently and that there is no safety boat cover. You can of course arrange to sail at the same time as another boat owning member; you could use our Facebook page to seek a sailing buddy if you wish.

  • You should carry out thorough pre sail checks on your equipment – particularly if it has laid dormant for many months.

  • The use of mast head floats will be an obligatory, although temporary, measure to prevent masts from digging into the floor of the pit as this is one of the main reasons that a rescue boat would normally be required.   These floats can be borrowed from the club (we have a few), purchased or, as an alternative, an empty 4 pint milk bottle can be used - with the lid properly sealed.

  • It is recommended that you carry paddles in your boat.

  • It is recommended that you take a mobile phone with you onto the lake and/or advise someone that you are going sailing in case you require help at any point.

  • In the unlikely event that you have to abandon your boat in the water and require help/assistance to recover it, please email the club using the website to arrange this.

  • All boat owners will be emailed a link to a spreadsheet where they can see how many people are planning to go sailing on any particular day.   They can then add their name to the list or, if no current list, start a new column with the relevant date.  Please use the spreadsheet as it will help with traceability should anyone become ill as well as avoiding wasted journeys for those members who live some distance away from the club.


We are preparing signage to remind everyone of the social distancing requirements and will aim to provide hand sanitiser in a couple of outside locations. As always it is important that you take your own rubbish home with you.


Stage Two - The use of club boats by members


The implementation date yet of this stage has yet to be confirmed, but as soon as possible.

We are not in a position to start using club craft immediately, I am sure that this will disappoint members who don’t have their own boat, but I hope you will understand that we have to get our systems right to protect everyone and this is taking a little time.  When we do start using club craft all of the above Covid-19 measures will apply to everyone as well as a number of additional ones to ensure the safety of all members. The committee is meeting on a regular basis to review the whole situation.   As soon as we are able and the Government and RYA advise that we can, training and racing will also resume.


This period is very stressful for us all. Please bear with us and hopefully we will all soon be back out enjoying the water and the club facilities.



Commodore, Ely Sailing Club

Contact Us

Ely Sailing Club

Roswell Pits

Prickwillow Road




01353 667830

© 2020 Ely Sailing Club

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