Littleton Sailing Club to reopen for ‘Buddy Sailing’

Important Announcement

The easing of Coronavirus lock-down restrictions from Wednesday 13 May signals the first phase of the re-opening of Littleton Sailing Club. The Management Team have decided to allow limited sailing activities to take place with immediate effect, which comply with all Government Guidelines and Legislation. The clubhouse (and all other buildings / stores) will remain locked with the exception of the outside toilet and there will be no duty team or safety boat cover.

Permitted Sailing (including windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding):

The key points from the most recent Government Guidelines are that “unlimited” out-door exercise is to be encouraged and that we are permitted to travel to that place of exercise. This means that the lake is available for you to sail on and at Littleton we have always allowed sailing outside of our regular club hours, i.e. when there is no safety boat cover. Although not an official title, we generally refer to this as ‘Buddy Sailing’ and it is described in our Standing Orders as follows:

Sailing outside Opening Times
Members who wish to sail at the Club when there is no advertised sailing/racing programme (i.e. no safety boat is operating) may do so entirely at their own risk provided they arrange for some other person to be available on shore (and another craft available on the water) who can provide assistance should the Member get into difficulties.

The Government Guidelines for England are now that you can:

  • ‘meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines
  • exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines
  • use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart’
  As before you cannot
  • ‘gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household)’

This allows multiple people from the same household to sail one or more boats. This also provides the necessary scope for members to make arrangements to buddy one other sailor from outside your household. You cannot volunteer to buddy for a whole group and the club WhatsApp group is not to be used to offer your services.

If the buddy is a non-sailor or just not sailing that day, then the club has made available the rowing boat (with boarding ladder) which will be stored near the slip on a trailer to provide some self-safety covers. This satisfies the club requirement for having “another craft available on the water”. The oars will be stored in the outside toilet and the first to arrive should collect the oars and launch the boat. Similarly, the last to leave should put the boat and oars away.

Additional Precautions / Rules:

The risk of Coronavirus is reducing but a significant risk remains particularly via transmission to vulnerable people (principally older people and those with pre-existing conditions). All members wishing to come to the club must follow all Government guidance and observe the following rules when at the club:

  • Sail well within your ability and that of your buddy or family member who is your rescue. Careful consideration is needed for sailing above wind force 4(>18 mph) or wind force 3 (>12 mph) for less experienced sailors. No buddy sailing in severe wind and weather conditions as no rescue boat is available.
  • If you are symptomatic or have been in contact with others that require you to self-isolate , you cannot come to the club;
  • Those who have been declared vulnerable and advised to self-isolate should continue to do so;
  • Observe Social Distancing at all times (i.e. the 2m rule), avoid touching shared surfaces and where possible wipe clean shared surfaces you have touched;
  • The clubhouse is to remain locked. Keyholders are asked not to open the clubhouse or any other building or store;
  • You should either come to the club already wearing your sailing gear or change in the car park;
  • Please ensure you have a charged mobile phone for emergencies onshore or ideally with you whilst sailing.
  • You must sail within sight of the of the clubhouse and avoid blind spots e.g. avoid the dive area by mark 3
  • The outdoor toilet will be left unlocked. Please wipe down surfaces after use with the cleaning materials provided;
  • The club safety boats are not to be used (all engines helpfully removed!);
  • Club boats will not be available for hire; and
  • Two-handed boats can only be sailed by those from the same household.

Social Distancing vs Rescuing Someone:

This has been discussed and all options considered so it is worthy of an explanation. The vast majority of rescues do not require bodily contact. In most cases, all that is needed is assistance in righting a capsized boat or steadying a boat whilst a sailor gets back on board, maybe followed by a tow back to the clubhouse. If a sailor needs to be recovered from the water they will often be able to do this unassisted. Climbing onto their own boat, if lower in the water, and then the “rescuer’s” boat (particularly if this is the rowing dinghy) is often the easiest way.

If a person becomes entrapped or is unable to help himself or herself, e.g. unconscious, then immediate assistance is required, possibly including first aid and the risk of harm from the situation far outweighs the risk of contamination from the Coronavirus.

The same would apply were you cycling, playing tennis or driving to the supermarket and witnessed an accident or someone taken seriously ill. Common sense needs to prevail and hopefully it goes without saying that anyone nearby and able to offer assistance without putting themselves at undue risk should do so, whether they are the official buddy or not. The risk is reduced by short duration of close contact and being outside.

Please Enjoy Yourselves Safely:

To end on a positive note, we hope that you will be able to take advantage of the ability to start sailing again. It will be a long time before things return to normal and many annual events have already been cancelled. However, so long as people work within the rules set out above we hope to see more of you on the water shortly.

A separate note will be issued to confirm the reinstatement of the 2020 invoices with deductions for the lock-down period as previously described. We ask that all those intending to sail, please pay their 2020 membership fees to ensure that they are covered by the club’s insurance. To those of you who have already paid, we are grateful. This year is going to be financially challenging for the club having missed our usual open day with its intake of new members and the RYA training courses that also bring new people to the club.

Rear Commodore (Sailing) & the Management Committee

eSailing Update

Our inaugural eSailing race series are now complete. A total of 14 competitors took part in all, including 3 ‘guest sailors’. A number of other club members have also created accounts on eSailing but have not participated in our racing to date. With the guest sailors not being eligible for placings in club series, the winner of the 2020 Spring Star Series was Stuart Thomson and the winner of the RYA Club Championship was Jonathan Jowett. Jonathan now goes on to represent the club in the Regional Club Championship event being run by the RYA. Congratulations to both series winners!

Full results available here:
Star series
RYA club championship series

It’s not too late to join in though. For Saturdays only during the month of May (or until we are allowed to sail for real if that happens earlier) we will be running another series. The series will be called the 2020 VR Lucky Dip Spring Series and will take place in a variety of different boats.

The schedule will be:

Sat 9th May 11:00 (races 1-5)

Sat 16th May 11:00 (races 6-10)

Sat 23rd May 11:00 (races 11-15)

Sat 30th May 11:00 (races 16-20)

An audio link will be made available each week via the Littleton Whatsapp group. Instructions for joining in are also in the latest Littleton Scene.

Join Our eSailing Race Series

Last weekend we started our on-line club eSailing race series, in which any club member is welcome to join or spectate.
 
The racing takes place on Virtual Regatta, with class races of up to 20 competitors each of around 5 minutes duration. Participation is easy via desktop computer, laptop, smart phone or tablet. Race rules are automatically applied, (with your boat slowed for 10 seconds for any infringement), and so this a great way to try out different tactical approaches for your starts, and each leg of the race.
 
For Littleton sailors new to VR, Andrew Selves has recorded a short video of a race with commentary to give a flavour of how it works. Coaching videos for eSailing are also being added by the RYA, with the first covering upwind sailing.
 
Race information and links are shared via our club WhatsApp ‘Littleton Sailing’ group.
Details for the RYA Championship event can be found on the RYA eSailing Webpage.
For detailed rules, please see the following PDF: Virtual Racing Rules of Sailing.

Dates of the rounds

Round 1 – 12th April (One Dayboat Racer course plus 3  Star class races )
Round 2 – 18th April
Round 3 – 19th April
Round 4 – 25th April
Round 5 – 26th April
 
By 3rd May we are looking to select a representative from our club to compete in the first RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship, a national championship taking place on 30th May.

The club is closed until further notice

Coronavirus (Covid19) Sailing Update (25 March)
 
All sailing activities have ceased at Littleton until further notice and the clubhouse will remain locked. This is to enable us to comply with the government’s rules on limiting social contact and reducing the spread of the virus. The RYA have made it clear that their recommendation is the same for all Registered Training Centres and we are applying the same logic across all sailing activities including “buddy sailing”, so what ever your personal views on the rights and wrongs of the situation we ask that you do not take your boats out on the water however tempting it might be.
 
The clubhouse will remain locked during this time, but if you do feel you need to visit the club to check up on your boat the outside toilet will remain available. Please keep it clean. Most importantly, if there are others at the club please respect their right to maintain a safe distance, i.e. the 2m social distancing rule. 
 
For those with access to keys, please do not unlock the clubhouse as we need to be extra vigilant with regards to security at this time. You may also have heard about the recent spate of break-ins, the latest of which resulted in all four of our safety boats having the engines stolen or damaged. The police have been notified and have all the details. We are looking to improve security and there will be occasional visits to make sure that all is well. 
 
These are tough times for us all and will also present challenges for the club. However, as much as we might like to we can’t say that sailing is essential but it will be all the sweeter when we do get back on the water again. Meanwhile, we are looking at other ways to keep up your sailing skills such as hosting an online virtual sailing regatta. Hopefully more on that later.
 
We will keep you informed of any changes, but do not expect these to be soon. If anyone has any questions or concerns please contact me or one of the other committee members. I can also recommend the Littleton Sailing WhatsApp group as a way to stay in touch with sailing friends. Text me you phone number if you need to be added.
 
Thank you
 
Alan Povey
Rear Commodore (Sailing)
 

Icicle Trophy 2020

The first Littleton Trophy event of the year took place on Sunday 5th January. The Icicle Trophy was sailed in more pleasant conditions than it has been in some past years, and certainly not living up to its name on this occasion! Thanks go to Steve Jones and his team for setting some great courses resulting in some close racing over the three general handicap race series. In a total fleet of 15 entries, congratulations to Nick Pepper, who triumphed in his Laser, to take the trophy at the end of the day.

See full results 

View all photos (courtesy of Mike Wilkie)

Littleton Juniors at British Youth Sailing Regional Championships

Ten of Littleton’s Junior sailors competed in the British Youth Sailing (BYS) London & South East Regional Junior Championships 28-29 September 2019 at Datchet Water Sailing Club (DWSC)  in the coached regatta fleet.

The Juniors bravely took to the water in extremely challenging conditions, with waves crashing onto the exposed beach at DWSC and a strong onshore wind gusting up to 25 knots.

Lottie Phillips and Lucia Evans took 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Tera class, with Khenza and Tazkiya Yazid taking 2nd in the Feva Class. Full results can be seen hereWell done to all the Juniors who took part. 

BYS junior championships

Win for Littleton Crew at 2019 CSSC Dinghy Championships

The 2019 CSSC Dinghy Championships, held over the weekend of 20 – 22 September, saw 3 crews from Littleton travel to Hooe Point Sailing Club for 2 days of racing in Plymouth Sound.

Despite difficult conditions, with gusts over 25 knots and rolling waves, Andrew and Nick Selves finished 13th in their RS800, whilst Luca and Mika Colombi finished 15th in a Laser Bahia borrowed from Hooe Point SC. Mika was delighted to be awarded the Junior Cup as the youngest competitor in the fleet at 9 years old.   

Congratulations to Dan Goodman and Debbie Clark, who took the overall win convincingly in their RS800, finishing all but one of the 6 races in first position. See the full 2019 CSSC dinghy championships results here

2019 CSSC dinghy championships