Information for Members and Competitors
Recreational boating is now permitted under the NSW Government Public Health Orders; however these orders may be reversed if boaters are seen to be disregarding the requirements for social distancing or clubs become a source of transmission.
SASC is pleased to be able to re-commence sailing, but COVID-19 is still with us and the way we sail needs to adapt. We are all obliged to work together to fight the transmission of the virus, so the club has introduced some new requirements for racing.
To provide for possible tracing, competing skippers are required to register all their crew names before each race on TopYacht. If you don’t register you will be recorded as DNC.
To register crew online go to – http://tymob.net.au/1130
Download the NOR – https://sasc.com.au/sailing/event-sailing-instructions-2/
While we are all missing the usual social atmosphere of our club, the clubhouse remains open in a limited capacity with prizegiving after sailing. Be aware of, and adhere to the following points:
Covid-19 positive result
If you are aware of a positive Covid-19 with whom you have been in contact (including your crew) you must notify SASC and NSW Health Department, without delay.
Remember – Everyone participates at their own risk
4th June 2020
With the resumption of racing at The Amateurs commencing on Saturday, June 13, we are planning for a return to the “new normal” at the club. As you know, the COVID19 virus is still with us and NSW Health requires that some restrictions remain in place which will impact on the way we operate over the next months.
The Flag Officers have put together a COVID19 Response Plan – as required by all sporting organizations.
If a positive case of the virus is confirmed amongst any member or crew who has visited the club, we will follow the advice and direction of NSW Health. We would communicate as soon as possible with Members and alert you to the fact that you may need to self-isolate.
The club is required to assist in the process of contact tracing. Contact tracing will identify those members or crew who have been in close contact with the recently diagnosed person. A close contact has either had close face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes (less than 1.5 meters apart) or been in an enclosed space for one hour or more. Close contacts would be required to remain in home isolation for 14 days.
In order to comply with the Contact Tracing requirements. Skippers are required to lodge a form with the Race Office listing the names and contact details of all crew who will be aboard your boat prior to any race. There is a strict “no form, no race” policy being put in place by all clubs on the harbour. Further details are contained in the Sailing Instructions.
For other members who have not been registered as race crew and who are visiting the club for social reasons or for the purpose of working on their boats or going cruising, you – and all persons in your company – are required to sign in with your name and contact details in Visitor books placed at both the front and back doors of the club. This is a requirement from NSW Health for all clubs and we ask that please comply. It is for the protection of all our staff, members and their families.
These changes will take effect from this weekend – June 6 to 8 – inclusive of the long weekend and applies to both weekdays and weekends.
The Tender will continue to operate on a sightly restricted basis with a limit of five passengers per trip. Again we ask that you comply with the 1.5m social distancing regulation where practicable. On race days, the pontoon must be kept clear for “touch and go” pick-ups and drop-offs only.
Some limited seating will be available inside the club from June 13 but is limited under the 4m2 rule. Please sit at the designated tables and do not re-arrange the seating plan that has been put in place.
We are ensuring that the club is regularly cleaned and disinfected. However we ask that you continue to :
It is exciting to be back out on the water and racing again – and have the club once more available to members and their guests. But Please remember, that whilst we have been given the go ahead to conduct racing/ sailing activities under the Public Health Order, this might be changed/removed by the authorities at any stage. It is important that we are seen to be complying with both the later and spirit of the restrictions currently in place.
Thanks again for your patience and forbearance.
21st May 2020
The good news is that the NSW Health authorities have today announced a relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions as they relate to recreational boating.
Racing can now resume across all classes of boat – inshore only for the moment. Restriction around offshore and overnight racing remain under discussion. Social sailing, day and overnight cruising are now permissible – although “where practicable” the 1.5 m separation distance between crew needs to be maintained.
There is a limit of 10 crew per boat – so no stacking the rail with human ballast – an issue which should not concern too many Amateur boats ! You are still required to observe the 1.5 m separation rule where practical – so probably no more than 5 or 6 crew of a 10M vessel for example.
However, some challenges remain. Sailing clubs are required to undertake a detailed risk assessment and mitigation program taking into account the current COVID19 restrictions and how we can best comply “where practical” so to protect the health of our staff, members and their families. As a consequence, there will be no return to “normal operations” for some time yet and some restrictions will stay in place. The directors are working through how to comply with the ongoing restrictions whist trying to best balance access to the club and facilities for members. We will keep you informed of any changes in that regard but request your ongoing patience and forbearance meantime.
Some sailing clubs are planning a return to racing as soon as Friday, June 5 – the start of the long weekend. For the Amateurs, we are talking with the other clubs involved in our combined Winter Series with the goal of re-commencing racing by no later than Saturday, June 13 – possibly earlier.
A reminder that no matter what steps the Club can put in place, Skippers are ultimately responsible for their boats and the safety of the crew. We are fortunate as sailors to have been given the opportunity for an early return to some semblance of normality with regards our time out on the water. It is important, that from a community perspective, we are all seen to honour both the letter and spirit of the rules which have been designed to protect us all.
We should also acknowledge the efforts of Australian Sailing in pursuing negotiations with the NSW authorities which has allowed the early and unexpected return to sailing activities in the harbour. There has also been a very cooperative and supportive liaison between clubs, particularly the CYCA, RSYS, RANSA, MHYC, RPAYC, RMYCBB, SASC, MYC and RPEYC who have collaborated weekly since the pandemic hit.
This is very positive development for the club – and all sailors on the harbour, We look forward to seeing you out on the water very soon. Further information from the Australian Sailing can be seen below.
15th May 2020
Whilst today sees some easing of the COVID19 social distancing restrictions in NSW, there is little impact on the current operations of the Amateurs. Ostensibly, you can now go sailing with up to 5 people on board your vessel – although the 4 square meter restriction still applies – so you will need to do your own calculations along those lines. Sailing is still permitted as a form of “exercise” and you are still able to access your boat to perform essential maintenance tasks.
We will continue to operate the Tender Service although the current restrictions of two passengers per trip will remain in place for the time being. We need to continue to respect the social distancing restrictions that are still in place for the protection of both our staff and members.
We have continued to liaise with other clubs on the harbour, Australian Sailing and the NSW authorities and for the moment, the best information we have is that organised competitive events – i.e, racing – will not be permitted till the State reaches the stated Level 3 easing of restrictions – most likely sometime in early July. Both Australian Sailing and NSW Maritime have been active in seeking some exemptions from the current restrictions to allow more flexibility for water-based sports activities – including the resumption of two handed racing as an example. However, to date these requests for exemptions have been declined. We will keep you informed if there are any changes.
Please minimise your time alongside the pontoon. It remains reserved for pick-ups and drop-offs only. If you wish to utilise the Green Shed for essential work on your boat you must book first. Only two vessels are permitted at the Green Shed at any time. No casual berthing is currently permitted and we are required to keep track of members using the facility.
Meantime, the Board is looking at a risk mitigation program, in light of the likely on-going COVID19 restrictions, to ensure we can resume something resembling “normal operation” and racing as soon as we get the all clear. We remain hopeful that we may be able to conduct a shortened winter series with the Spring/Summer series to commence around early September. Of course, all this may change if the authorities re-introduce tougher restrictions around social distancing.
We encourage you to download the Government’s COVIDSafe app as the more people who have it on their phones, the sooner life might return to normal.
Again, we thank all members for their forbearance and support during these challenging times.
7th May 2020
Whilst there is some conjecture about Government authorities moving to ease current restrictions in relation on social distancing and the COVID19 virus, there is still no clarity on just what those changes might involve and what they mean for sailing in general and activities at the Amateurs.
Consequently, we will all continue to operate the tender service this weekend with a limit of 2 passengers per trip. Once again we request that you respect the social distancing restrictions and move to either end of the boat – and do not gather in groups on the club deck or pontoon when waiting for your turn on the Nancy K. This arrangement has worked well to date and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
If there are significant changes to the social distancing policies we will endeavour to work within those new guidelines as soon as practicable and alert members if any new arrangements are put in place.
We continue to liaise with other Sydney and Pittwater-based sailing clubs – as well as Australian Sailing – regarding an agreed pathway to re-boot sailing and get our members back out on the water and racing once again. It is generally agreed that all clubs should work in concert to an agreed plan so that there is consensus on what is the best and safest means to get sailors back on the water.
Clubs are of the view that if the current prohibitions on organised competitive sport are lifted, it would be two weeks before racing in even a limited form, could commence back on the harbour. Australian Sailing, for example, has taken the opportunity during the halt in harbour racing to remove and service all seven YA rounding marks on the harbour and require a 10-day window to return and lay the marks again.
Initially, competition would likely be limited to two-handed or short-handed racing – depending on boat size – given that some restrictions on social distancing will remain in place. There are other obstacles to overcome including social gathering at clubs before and after events and restrictions around the number of people who may be allowed to crew on the Start Boats. There is however, some optimism about conducting a shortened winter series and – providing social distancing restrictions continue to be progressively eased – the Spring/Summer racing season will commence in late August or early September.
We are also supportive of the concept being mooted by some clubs of “Breakout Sail Day” to mark the end of restrictions on sailing. The idea being that on an agreed date – as many boats as possible get out on the harbour for a ‘sail past” around the islands and under the bridge as a show of gratitude to our health workers who have been at the frontlines on the battle against the virus. We will provide more information as its comes to hand.
Fortunately the club remains in a relatively sound financial position given the circumstances. Whilst we have seen a fall off in revenue from racing and social activities, the boat shed has continued operation and we have taken the opportunity to complete some infrastructure and maintenance repairs.
We hope to see you all back on the water soon – even if it is at a safe distance.
30th April 2020
With the Government authorities moving towards some relaxation of the current isolation and social distancing restrictions, we believe we can also take some small steps towards a return to the “new normal” at the club. The tender service will operate again this weekend with a new limit of two passengers per trip – rather then the current restriction of just one person plus the tender driver. However we ask that passengers move to either end of the Nancy K – in order that we continue to comply with the social distancing requirements.
Club dinghies can also be utilised to access members’ boats but a reminder that you do so at your own risk and that you must take the appropriate disinfection and hygiene measures for your own protection – as well as for other members and their families.
As the COVID19 crisis continues to ease – at least for the moment – we are in discussion with other sailing clubs on the harbour for the resumption of some form of racing – in one form or another. It will be dependant on the continued improvement of the virus infection numbers and approval from the relevant authorities but there is talk of a shortened combined winter series (double or short-handed depending on vessel size) and a resumption of the summer racing season sometime in September. Obviously there are likely to be continued restrictions on pre and post race gatherings and the number of people permitted in the clubhouse and deck area etc – but we do understand many members are keen to get back out on the water as soon as possible. We will keep you informed of developments.
On behalf of the staff and directors, we thank you all for your patience and understanding during this challenging period for the Amateurs.
23rd April 2020
With the COVID 19 restrictions still in place, we are able to provide some further clarification of just how this affects Members as boat owners and sailors. As you know sailing is permitted as a form of “exercise” providing you and your crew respect the social distancing provisions – and are not in the opinion of the authorities either “cruising” or “socialising”. Fishing is also permitted.
Further to that, the Boating Industry Association has received advice from the Government authorities that a boat owner:
Consequently, the club will continue to offer a limited tender service this weekend – April 25 and 26 – to enable Members to check on their vessels. However the restrictions of one passenger per trip or two people from the same household will remain in place. Likewise use of the club dinghies is absolutely at your own risk and we recommend the you take appropriate precautions to sanitise the oars and boars prior to use.
We are also permitting members to book berths at the Green Shed to carry out “essential maintenance” on their vessels. There will be a limit of two vessels only to be moored at the Green Shed pontoons and Members MUST book in advance so that we can control the number of boats utilising the facility. Again we ask that you respect the social distancing restrictions and follow the recommendations in relation to good hygiene. Use of the Green Shed and the work areas is at your own risk.
Also we have a number of vacant club moorings currently available in Mosman Bay. If you know of anyone who may be interested in leasing a club mooring please have them contact the office or Rod in the Boatshed for further information.
We hope that you and your families remain safe and healthy – and mostly at home !
20th April 2020
We have been asked by the RMS and the NSW Water Police to remind you of current restrictions in place with regards to the COVID 19 virus. Whilst not pointing the finger at the Amateurs, they have informed us that perhaps not all “sailors” are conducting themselves according to the spirit – if not the letter of the current social distancing and isolation regulations.
Apparently there have been reports of ‘groups or gatherings’ of sailors which are prohibited under current public health orders. One club has been issued an official warning over the weekend for a group of nine sailors taking part in a ‘non-official’ two-handed race. The Water Police have observed groups of yachts on a day cruise together, as well as a “fleet of dinghies” getting together on the water.
So far RMS and the Water Police say they have acted with restraint and only issued warnings rather than fines which can be up to $11,000 for individuals and $55,000 for corporations.
All clubs are being asked to remind members that from 31 March 2020, NSW Government Public Health Orders have been updated requiring people to stay at home unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’. In addition, the NSW Public Health Order directs that a person must not participate in a gathering in a public place of more than 2 persons, which includes multiple boats for instance unless they are from the same household. Please see the extract from the Maritime COVID 19 page below.
The authorities are suggesting that this is a final warning and that fines will be issued if they – RMS or Water Police – don’t believe you have a reasonable excuse to be out on the water – or if you are in contravention of the social distancing requirement.
Whilst many of us are feeling the pangs to be out on the water and getting a little “stir-crazy” with the isolation measures, the more we comply, the sooner we will be back out there on the harbour. Sailing is permitted as exercise – but perhaps avoid rafting up with other boats or drifting about the harbour with no sails up and a cold beer in hand. It is not such a good look!
We will continue to offer a tender service to enable members to check on their vessels. However, we ask that you please abide by the social distancing restrictions and hygiene rules that are in place.
“Unless you have an essential need to be out on the water – stay home.
A ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home to use your boat could be to:
Socialising or cruising on the water is not a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home. And to remember, social distancing and social gathering rules apply at all times – including marinas, boat ramps and on your boat.”
16th April 2020
While the COVID19 restrictions remain in place the club will again offer a limited tender service to enable members to check on their boats – this Saturday and Sunday (April 18 and 19). As previously advised trips on the tender are limited to one passenger at any time or two people from the same household. These guidelines are for the safety of both our employees and members so please ensure you comply.
To reiterate, the use of the club dinghies is at your own personal risk. The club can give no undertaking the dinghies and oars have been appropriately disinfected prior to use. On advice, the club can no longer provide PFDs for use by members. You will need to bring your personal PFD – in order two comply with RMS regulations – if you intend to utilise one of the club dinghies to access your boat. You will also need to provide your own sanitiser/disinfectant and cloths etc.
Please use the pontoon only for pick-ups and drop-offs or for taking on water. A boat may be tied up on the pontoon during week days only if it is being worked on by the boat shed team or recognised contractor carrying out repairs or urgent maintenance. Please check with Rod first.
If you are unable to access the club for any reason and have concerns about your vessel, please contact either Rod or the Commodore and we will make arrangements to check on it.
Certainly, it is a good idea if you can get down to your boat – even if not “exercising” by going for a sail – to run you engine, charge batteries, turn on your electronics etc for a short time and open hatches and ports to allow some ventilation. It will help ensure your boat is in good order for when sailing resumes – hopefully sometime later this year.
The office continues to function as normal. The boat shed team are also still operating so if you require an antifouling or other repair or maintenance work to be carried out it would be an optimal time to schedule the work over the coming months.
10th April 2020
We have just received information from NSW Water Police that they will be patrolling Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and Broken Bay waterways to enforce the following:
Water Police are enforcing the current restrictions, which are ‘no non-essential travel’, and staying on your boat overnight is not essential.
THE ADVICE IS – STAY AT HOME
This information received by the Amateurs in two recent phone calls is asking us to remind our members. The Police are attempting to do the right thing here so we, as a boating community need to respect the Governing bodies’ decision.
Police have informed Club management that they will issue infringement fines for non-compliance.
Part of this directive is to also report the numbers of boats, types of permissible boating activity being undertaken and the numbers of those trying to circumvent the current advice.
This reporting will determine if further restrictions will be required for the boating community.
9th April 2020
Guidelines that sailing clubs from both the harbour and Pittwater are sharing with their members are available here: SASC Guidelines for Responsible Boating in NSW
We hope it might provide some guidance for those of you seeking a break from your self-isolation.
Please be aware that Police, RMS have increased patrols, both in the harbour and in Pittwater to ensure the rules distributed by authorities are adhered to. Transport NSW have reminded boat owners today that: “When on a private boat, because it is not a public place, the restriction on gatherings of more than 2 people does not apply. However, the skipper is to ensure there is 4 square metres of space for each person on board. If there is not 4 square metres of space per person, the skipper will not be complying with the Public Health Order.
On behalf of the directors and staff at The Amateurs we wish a very Happy Easter to all our members and their families during the current COVID-19 crisis impacting the world.
Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy!
8th April 2020
As you all know, the COVID 19 pandemic has created a rapidly changing environment. Your Flag Officers are continuing to monitor the situation with the aim of protecting Members and their families, as well as protecting the health and jobs of our staff whilst continuing to provide access – if somewhat restricted – to the club and facilities. We recognize that the self-isolation restrictions and “social distancing” policies represent challenges for us all and that the advice from Government authorities has sometimes been confusing and contradictory. Certainly, we have received a range of advice – not least from some of our own members – based on their interpretation of current legislation. We have also been in regular communication with the other sailing clubs on the harbour.
The consensus amongst all sailing clubs east of the Harbour Bridge is to comply with the overarching ethos of protecting the broader community and in particular our front-line emergency services and medical professionals.
However, we note that the Government restrictions currently permit sailing as a form of “exercise”. (Although this may change!) Also, we are aware that some members would like to be able to check on their boats, run engines, pump bilges, air the cabin or otherwise batten down the hatches.
With that in mind, the Flag Officers have decided that the following guidelines shall be in place until further notice.
We will review these guidelines as circumstances and restrictions change. We will look at providing a regular limited weekend tender service depending on demand.
We know these changes will represent an inconvenience for some members. However, whilst we respect our Members’ ability to make considered decisions regarding their safety, and whether or not sailing constitutes an “essential activity” or “exercise”, we also take seriously our duty of care to Members and staff and ask for your assistance by adhering to these policy changes.
1st April 2020
No doubt the thought has crossed many a member’s mind that it might be possible to escape the Coronavirus lockdown by getting down to the boat and heading out on the harbour for a few hours or more. The bad news is that you may need to think again.
As you know, the situation with regards the severity of the spread of COVID 19 changes daily. Your Flag Officers have been diligently monitoring events and, as has been our stated intent, doing our best to keep the clubhouse open and provide a limited tender service to Members. With new restrictions on “social distancing and recreational activities” announced on Sunday and now being enforced by the State Government, we have sought clarification from the relevant Government authorities on just how this would impact on the activity of sailing.
The advice we received is as follows: “As of Monday 30th March 2020, the NSW Office of Sport, in consultation with NSW Health considers all organised and social sport and recreation activities to be classified as NON-ESSENTIAL activities, and strongly recommends that these activities cease as of midnight Monday 30th March until further notice.
“This includes social sails, cruising and day trips on your yacht! We understand that this is tough however we are at the stage where we need everyone to restrict unnecessary travel and interactions to reduce the severity of Covid-19.”
We have heard further today the NSW Police intend to crack down on all recreational boating – excluding paddling. Additionally, Maritime Rescue NSW have issued a statement requesting that all recreational boaters stay at home.
Some clubs intend to make the argument that “sailing constitutes exercise” and therefore should be excluded from the list of banned recreational activities. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with Members as more information comes to hand.
Our initial intention was to continue offering a limited tender service. However, again under the new restrictions, this would be limited to one passenger per trip, with the entire boat needing to be disinfected “with hospital grade disinfectant before and after taking on a passenger”. The Flag Officers have decided to discontinue this service until further notice given the risk to both members and our Tender Drivers – who generally fall within the target demographic most at risk from contracting the Coronavirus.
Obviously, if you feel that the need to check on your boat constitutes an “essential activity” you should utilise your own dinghy for the purpose. The use of club dinghies and life jackets is absolutely at your own risk. Because every member has a key to the club, it is impossible to monitor if all members are following the guidelines in relation to both personal hygiene and disinfecting the dinghies, oars and life jackets before or after use. We are sure you have all seen the statistics on how long the virus remains contagious on wooden (oars) and other hard surfaces (plastic dinghies) so please take all necessary steps to protect yourself from possible infection. The onus is on you and the risk is yours alone.
If you have a particular concern about your vessel, the boatshed staff are still working. Please contact Rod at the boatshed (email@example.com) or the Commodore (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your vessel needs attention. We will in any case be monitoring members boats in Mosman Bay to ensure covers are all fastened down and keeping an eye on waterline levels in the event of any water ingress. We will provide details of a more comprehensive service – running of engines, pump outs and other checks in the next week.
Thank you all for your continued cooperation and understanding.