Covid-19 sailing guide

Note: This is a ‘living document’, please check regularly for updates. Last updated 2.6.2021


WHSC’s approach to COVID-19 is trusting members to understand and take responsibility for themselves (this responsibility falls back to parents and guardians for junior members). By following and respecting the guidelines we set out members reduce their own risk of infection, which in turn reduces the risk for others.

Update for June 2021: Please familiarise yourself with the updated guidelines from Irish Sailing.


Guiding principles of decision to go afloat under Resilience and Recovery 2021 Plan for Living with COVID-19:

1. COMPLIANCE WITH CURRENT COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS The need for full compliance on the current level of local restrictions under the ‘Plan for Living with Covid-19’ to ensure sailing, windsurfing & powerboating remain a ‘low risk’ activity

2. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY Take personal responsibility for your own risk and decision making

3. SELF HELP Ensure that you have the means to return to shore without assistance (alternative means of propulsion) in the event of the unexpected in non-distress situations

4. RISK ASSESSMENT Individual and Activity Organisers to assess the risks associated with the conditions, equipment, experience of sailors, sailing area, and risk of virus spread, before making the decision to go afloat

Any  sailor who intends to sail with WHSC as part of organised sailing, must adhere to the following conditions.

  • If you have any symptoms re COVID19, please do not sail and self isolate as per guide lines.
  • Strictly members only.
  • Those who are vulnerable or with special needs are not permitted to sail (as we do not have resources to mitigate your risk).
  • If you have returned from abroad, please self quarantine for 14 days. Do not sail.
  • Multi household crewed boats in ‘pods*’ (maintaining regular crew as much as possible). All sailors must use registration forms prior to sailing to confirm time, date and crew, to enable WHSC to maintain a log for contact tracing.

Youth & junior sailors

  • Parent/guardian must take responsibility for all youth sailors and ensure they follow the guidelines.
  • Parent/guardian must remain in proximity to clubhouse or be on the water when juniors are sailing.
  • All sailors must have completed Start Sailing (Level 2) unless specific control measures are put in place (competence level specified in coaching session, for example).
  • Parent/guardian must be available to assist rig, launch and recovery (trolley if required on slip).

Launch and recovery

  • All sailors need to independently rig and launch their dinghies.
  • 2 metre social distancing must be maintained for rigging and on the slip and for all pre and post  sailing activities.

Club house

  • There is no congregating at the club house.
  • There will be NO changing facilities within the clubhouse
  • Toilet facilities are available if required.
  • Cleaning & sanitising stations must be used.

Requirement for on the Water

  • All dinghies must have the painter and paddle/oars to ensure they can return to shore without assistance.
  • Rescue personnel are in charge on the water and all instructions are to be followed immediately.
  • 2 metre social distancing must be maintained on the water. No coming alongside.
  • If a passenger needs to travel by rescue/ferry boat, they must remain at the bow (unless otherwise instructed).
  • If sailors choose to wear a snood/mask they must ensure it does not cause obstruction during a capsize and is easily removable (elastic, not tied). Note: Sport Ireland medical team have advised that facemasks and sailing are not particularly effective..

Club boats

  • Available to hire for members.
  • Advise is to wear suitable full finger gloves.
  • Boats need to be cleaning & sanitising prior and post sailing.
  • Cleaning & sanitising products will be available in Boatshed.

*Pod system

A ‘pod’ is a group of up to 15 people from 2 or more household units involved in an activity together where social distancing may not be possible e.g. a boat crew, a recreational training group (incl. coach or instructor), a committee boat/race management crew or a safety boat crew.

People within the pod should:

• maintain social distancing where possible

• remain together for a minimum amount of time

• change position as much as possible to minimize the time spent in close proximity to another member of the pod

• avoid being directly down wind of and/or facing others in the pod as much as possible

• Pod size should be kept to a minimum. The smaller the pod, the lower the risk. • People from one pod should not mix with people from another pod.

• Training Activity can do so in multiple pods once sufficient space is available and strict public health protocols are in place. This allows for mixed household crew using the pod system to facilitate effective contact tracing.

• The use of multiple pods is to assist with minimising the number of people in a group while acknowledging that some outdoor facilities and sailing areas have the capacity to cater for larger numbers of people/boats in a safe manner and within public health guidelines.

• The number of pods in a given facility or sailing area will depend on the overall size of space available.

• The space between pods will depend on the nature, duration and intensity of the session but it should be clearly evident that the pods are independent groups or boats that are not in contact and not interacting with one another.

• Where more than one pod is engaging in organised activity, supervisors (e.g. senior instructors) may oversee more than one pod.