Coronavirus and Irish Sailing – Communication from Harry Hermon, Chief Executive

Mar 12, 2020 | Sailing

Irish Sailing acknowledges that they are not in a position to give expert advice in respect of the Covid 19 threat and that as a minimum, the advice of the HSE should be followed.

The current advice issued today by An Taoiseach effective until 29th March, is for indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.

Consequently, Irish Sailing has agreed some precautionary measures for their own events to minimise the risk of infection of those involved in their activities:

Conference, Awards & AGM

  • The Race Event Management & Support Conf will be rescheduled for the autumn or early 2021. As a result of Irish Sailing postponing this event, the qualifications of those race officials who require revalidation this year will automatically be revalidated.
  • The Club Symposium is cancelled and will not be rescheduled this year.
  • The Training Conf for this year is cancelled, however the Checklick Webinar as was planned during the conference will go ahead as normal. Please register here if you have not already done so.
  • For the AGM we need a quorum of 5 Clubs present. In view of the fact there is no vote of the members to be taken at the AGM and as such is an administrative exercise, Irish Sailing’s AGM will go ahead as planned.
  • The Irish Sailing Awards will be run virtually: shots with prize winners and VIP presenters, and then posting these at the scheduled time of the Awards through a series of Social media/news articles. The rest of the prizes will be sent by post.

Other Public meetings and onshore training events

In light of the need for people to congregate in potentially confined spaces, Irish Sailing is cancelling its current scheduled Safeguarding, Race Official & Inclusion Training Courses until the 29th March.

Sailing events organised by Irish Sailing

The following are precautions being taken by Irish Sailing in the organisation of our own events which may be used to inform other event organisers on their decisions as they feel appropriate.

We are fortunate in Sailing that we are a sport that takes part in outdoor spaces on the water, where there is no contact between competitors and there are no spectators or crowds to consider. For this reason, the risk of infection while participating in sailing activities is minimal. It will be up to competitors to decide whether they participate.

We will however need to consider how we organise race management and activities ashore during events (social events, briefings, changing, prizegiving’s etc).

This position will be reviewed again on Sunday 29th March, unless direct advice from HSE is issued in the meantime necessitating a change.

Senior Instructor Courses

Senior Instructor Courses currently scheduled will continue to run on the basis that much of the training takes place on the water with the advice that people should attend if:

  • they feel comfortable,
  • know and/or trust the others on the course to declare if they are at risk or have come from an affected area
  • the shore-based sessions are conducted with separation between the pupils
  • other personal sanitary precautions to protect against the virus are applied.

We would hope that other instructor courses scheduled will continue to be run on the same basis.

As a result of limitations on the availability of first aid courses, the requirement for first aid training for newly qualified, revalidations and upskilling instructors in 2020 is waived, however this must be rectified for 2021 if the qualification is to remain valid.

Irish Sailing Office/Services

Irish Sailing’s offices in Park road will remain fully operational and services available online, by phone and email. In order to minimise the risk of staff becoming infected – with the exception of deliveries, the office will be closed to visits from the public with effect 16/03/20.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and hope that with everyone’s cooperation the threat will be contained soon, so we can all enjoy the summers sailing this year.

Harry Hermon 
Chief Executive
Irish Sailing
12  March 2020


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