To all MHYC Members,
On behalf of the Board and Flags, we hope that you and your families are in good health and you have adapted well to the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While it may still be some time before the Club can return to normal operations afloat and ashore, it is nevertheless welcome news that an easing of restrictions in NSW will be gradually phased in.
I have been meeting regularly with Australian Sailing and the Commodores of the other major Sydney clubs to share ideas and receive updates from Australian Sailing. This week’s Return to COVIDSafe Sailing Update will hopefully provide a first look at the guidelines that Australian Sailing have prepared based on the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) COVID-19 Framework for organised sport, aligned with the Federal Government COVIDSafe Australia Plan. The aim is to assist NSW clubs to have a consistent approach in their return to sailing. All Commodores in this group have agreed to a unified and coordinated approach to a return to competitive sailing.
It is unlikely that we will be able to re-commence organised yacht racing until at least Step 3 of the COVIDSafe Australia Plan and it is uncertain when this might be, but possibly in July.
While our marina has remained open throughout this crisis and recreational sailing is permitted - provided this is undertaken in accordance with the current NSW Government Social Distancing Regulations - club sporting events (which includes any form of yacht racing, even for boats with only one or two crew) are not permitted.
As soon as the NSW Government COVID-19 Restrictions are relaxed to a point which enables clubs to resume racing, MHYC intends to re-commence its regular program at the earliest opportunity. This includes Wednesday Non-Spinnaker Pursuit and the Winter Pursuit and Sprint Series – although the program may be modified. However, it must be anticipated that the Social Distancing Regulations in force at that time will apply to racing and may affect crew numbers, social distancing aboard and social interaction before and after sailing.
Amongst the uncertainty, there is still some positive news…
The Sandbar Cafe re-opened at the end of April for takeaway service to support those Members using the marina. Hopefully we will be able to soon announce an allowance for a limited number of seated guests on the deck area, but this is subject to confirming compliance with Government Regulations.
The Helly Hansen eSailing Autumn Series of virtual races for MHYC Members has proved popular. This Saturday at 11am, a selection series will be held to choose MHYC’s representative in the NSW eSailing Championships. Members can view the racing online. There is more information at https://www.mhyc.com.au/sailing/e-sailing
With most owners already deciding to forego the Queensland regattas in August due to the uncertainty around travel and event restrictions, MHYC has been leading plans to organise a series of coastal passage and inshore races in NSW. Details are yet to be finalised, but the likely dates of the “Breakout Series” are 8 –14 August 2020. The event will be organised by MHYC in conjunction with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Port Stephens Yacht Club. Stand by for further announcements.
The Club is planning for a great celebration on September 5th to open the 2020-2021 season and it will be themed as a Thankyou Day. Subject to Government Regulations, we are hoping to invite the frontline services in our community who have served us so well during this crisis.
Work on rejuvenating the front of the club is well underway and some unusual flags are being displayed on the now more visible flagpole. Originating at the San Francisco Yacht Club, clubs around the world are displaying a signal to let their members know they will be there for them after the COVID-19 pandemic. The MHYC flagpole is now displaying the Code Flags C over G over Numeral 1 to communicate the message - I WILL STAND BY TO ASSIST YOU.
Please stay the course and keep healthy. If you are experiencing difficulties, please reach out to us and we will endeavour to assist.
We will continue to update you as further updates become available.
Yours in Sailing
Peter Lewis (Commodore)