Postponement of Helly Hansen Chester Race Week:
The Chester Race Week Steering Committee would like to recommend to the CYC Executive that Chester Race Week 2020 be postponed until 2021.
The situation with the pandemic in Nova Scotia, although seeming to be stable, is not something we can be sure about and to put race organizers, the Chester Yacht Club, volunteers and race committees in jeopardy would be irresponsible and reckless. Although there were many positive responses to the recent survey, which received over 130 responses from past skippers, there were indications that the ability for boat owners/skippers to get a commitment of a full crew, and the prior knowledge that there would be a good complement of competitors in each fleet tempered the positive results. Other respondents to the survey told us that they did not think that Race Week should run in the current conditions, and that it would not be a good idea to host an event that was not in line with previous and future events, they encouraged us to err on the side of safety, to cancel early and to respect the community of Chester.
We have heard from some long term in-kind sponsors and other sponsors who are concerned about the running of the event during the pandemic, not only about the value of their sponsorship but also the logistics of lending equipment and the safety of their personnel. Withdrawal of sponsorships, along with a competitor drop of at least 60% would mean that the regatta may not be financially viable.
The Principal Race Officer, Dan Conrod, and his team of excellent Race Officers, some of whom have cancelled their participation in Canada’s Summer Games for 2021 in favour of Chester Race Week, would like to come back for 2021.
As always it has been great working with the CYC executive and hope we can continue working together for future race weeks.
Helly Hansen Chester Race Week Steering Committee
Michael Dunn, Chair Steering Committee
Pat Nelder, Chair On-Water
Dan Conrod, PRO
Jennifer Chandler, Chair Sponsorship
Kim Johnson, Chair On-Land
Sean Pearce, CYC Rear Commodore
Dear CYC community,
Following on our series of Club updates in the midst of this viral storm, developments and forecasts have become increasingly fluid. While at this point it’s difficult to project where we’ll be as the summer unfolds, our regular club activities will most likely be disrupted.
Last week, Sail Nova Scotia hosted another of their meetings for clubs across the province. The common theme was the upsetting prospect of potentially having to cancel or curtail the junior sailing programs. This will continue to evolve as the concept of social distancing on a dingy is a challenge. Our Learn to Sail Director Christine Santimaw may have a creative solution, which she’ll provide in her update below. We continue to abide by the provincial government guidelines, which in the case of CYC means that the clubhouse will remain closed for the foreseeable future, though using the floats or crane is allowed within the context of social-distancing.
From a financial perspective, with regards to the proposed Benefactors Trust, following the March circulation to the membership of the draft changes to the Bylaws, we have received constructive input from a number of members. This is being incorporated by the Long Range Planning Committee and will be presented to the membership in advance of our AGM.
On the Club’s short term financial outlook, we are grateful for the continued arrival of membership subscriptions and we thank those who have already made their payments and look forward to receipt from all others. The club can survive without most of our events but the fixed costs are covered by membership. Thanks also to those who have responded to last week’s questionnaire on Race Week, your input makes the lives of the planning committee a little easier.
Our club is almost 120 years old and has endured similar years of hardship whether World Wars or pandemics. Our community made up of our devoted membership and a committed Executive will see the club through these challenging times. More updates on CYC activities will be sent as they arise.
On behalf of all of us at the club, we thank you for your continued support.
Good health to you and your families,
David Creighton, Commodore
Junior Sailing Program Update:
This is a fairly detailed update as I want to provide you with as much information as I can at this time.
As our Commodore has mentioned, we have participated in a number of Zoom calls with Sail Nova Scotia in regard to general club operations. I as well have been able to participate in additional meetings regarding, specifically, Learn to Sail programs across the province, with other Learn to Sail directors, some commodores and representatives from the Sail NS board. As I am also a member of the Sail NS board, I have also been fortunate to receive additional and informative updates from Sail Canada and clubs across the country.
The good news: we are all on the same page.
While it may be hard to believe, sailing lessons have not been deemed an essential service and we therefore will comply with regulations. Obviously for us and all other clubs offering junior lessons, this is a cause of concern – we want nothing more than getting our juniors on the water as soon as possible. All clubs are prepared for the reality that junior sailing programming will not proceed as it has in past years and most are prepared for no programming at all. At CYC, we are also unique in that many of our coaches and participants come from outside of Nova Scotia and outside of Canada.
Typically, employment of our instructor team would begin around the second or third week of June with programming scheduled to begin, this year, on June 22. Because sailing is a sport that requires significant start-up labour, we have decided that a final decision will be made on or about June 1. This said, due to the uncertainty of how things are progressing, decisions regarding summer programming may change as the response to the pandemic evolves. That may not provide you with the certainty you need but I suppose this is the position we find ourselves in right now.
On a more positive note, over the past few months, head coach Chris Tully and I have prepared a number of plans to would allow us to tackle whichever scenario with which we are faced come June 1. In the event that programming as we know it be postponed for 2020, we have some devised some creative solutions that might at least enable some junior sailors in Chester to hit the water outside of the club.
You will be the first to know as things change, which they will. Please know we want nothing more than to offer lessons this summer, as always, but will do everything necessary to support our community through this tough time.
Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever.
Stay safe, healthy and positive,
Christine Santimaw, Learn To Sail Director
Rear Commodore update:
As the boating season fast approaches and the days become favourable, we are sure that everyone is wondering what the status of our water operations will look like.
As mentioned in previous communications, CYC will/has launched our network of floats and moorings. The 2019 fall storm season was very hard on our infrastructure. Since restrictions have been loosened it has allowed us to have some of our critically damaged infrastructure repaired and replaced. Our target for operational use is middle of May.
This effort is part of a infrastructure renewal and development plan targeting tired and worn facilities and equipment to keep our members and guests safe. We are fortunate to have a team relentlessly targeting specified government support programs to allow us to continue with this effort.
We are uncertain at this time if and when we can offer tender service, therefore the executive has decided to shelve our newly developed tender policy for the 2020 boating season. This means there WILL NOT be limited number of available spaces for personal tender boats. All senior members in good standing will be allowed to store one (1) personal tender boat. We ask that you please review the tender policy: 60fe40ab006d/CYC_Tender_Dinghy_2020_Application.pdf and respect the rules/restrictions we have outlined. This will ensure all members are afforded a space and we can minimize unnecessary damage.
- Tender/Dinghies MUST be only up to be 12 feet or less in length
- Dinghy/tenders MUST have the owner’s name clearly printed on them or on an attached label
- Outboard motors MUST be left down when docked at CYC dinghy dock so it does not interact/damage another boat
When accessing the Chester Yacht Club wharf, you acknowledge your responsibility to adhere to social distancing of 2m and to not gather in groups larger than five (5) until such time as amended by NS Health Authority.
CYC will continue to allow members who have completed the crane waiver & payment to use the wharf crane to launch their boats. Please review revised crane policy: https://mcusercontent.com/1f93bda10bd7b8ae3d720a346/files/5d7e6e04-df86-4266-94d1-1d3b237080c0/CYC_CRANE_POLICY_and_Waiver_2020.pdf
before calling Kim to make an appointment. CYC will provide all necessary sanitization equipment to minimize risk for all members using CYC equipment. We are asking that you sanitize thoroughly before and after use, and please respect the rules of social distancing of 2m and to not gather in groups larger than five (5) so we too do our part to keep the greater CYC community safe.
While we are unsure of what the larger landscape looks like for our 2020 sailing season, we expect the recreational boating culture at Chester Yacht Club to survive and thrive.
Sean Pearce, Rear Commodore
Vice Commodore update:
As the Rear Commodore prepares for access to the water-based facilities, Kim and I are equally looking at the measures needed to open the CYC clubhouse and grounds.
In the hopes that we do get the green light to open and given the current NS Health Authority guidelines, CYC will likely only have limited access to the Club initially. Preparations are currently underway to ensure a safe environment including Hand Sanitizers and Protective Screens around the bar, as well as considering general movement around and inside the Clubhouse.
As we begin to prepare for some degree of openness we are equally looking at the summer Social schedule. Our assumptions at present; given current Nova Scotia policies, will be to keep social gatherings to an absolute minimum. Larger social gatherings including Friday Evening socials will be put on hold until we are permitted to host appropriate numbers of members/attendees.
While I know this is very disappointing to hear, I’m quite sure this does not come as a shock given the regular updates we are hearing from our government leadership. We are looking at doing some creative activities that keep us aligned with the provincial guidelines. I’m happy to entertain and consider any inventive ideas you might have.
Some OUTSIDE orientated ideas currently being considered:
- Informal Sail Past for Canada Day (perhaps during the day)
- Take out Burgers
- Popup Movies/Music on the Cobble Stones
- Mid-Day Tea on the Cobble Stones
Our expectations will be that members follow all physical distancing and health guidelines while visiting the Club facilities.
From a facilities improvement perspective, a request coming from several members was the addition of kayak racks to support member storage at the club. We are currently organizing to have spots available early in June for six (6) kayaks (there will be a fee associated).
In closing we will continue to monitor and adjust as the Nova Scotia regulations permit; as well as do our utmost to keep our Membership and Staff safe.
Jennifer Chandler, Vice Commodore
Message from Kim, CYC Club Manager:
Hope everyone is well and getting through these crazy times!
CYC recognizes this may be a very difficult time for some members. If anyone is experiencing financial hardship during these unprecedented times, Please do not hesitate to reach out to me in confidence to work out a payment plan for membership dues renewal. Membership at Chester Yacht Club is a long-term relationship and we will do our best to accommodate those in need.
We wish you and your family safety and health and look forward to seeing you at the Club very soon.
Kim Johnson, Club Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear CYC Community,
The CYC Executive wanted to follow up on our March 18th COVID-19 Update. The challenges we’re all facing continue to evolve and the safety of our community continues to be our key driver.
The Executive attended a meeting earlier this week organized by Sail Nova Scotia. The purpose was to share ideas and experiences of the yacht clubs across the province and to seek guidance on policies going forward. A statement from Sail NS has been circulated today. What’s interesting is that all clubs are slightly different, and ours was highlighted as particularly challenged given the long planning needs of Chester Race Week and the Opti Nationals.
While this is not what we expected our club operations to look like for the 2020 season, our decision making process has been fully instructed by the Government of Nova Scotia guidelines and laws regarding COVID-19. Sail NS has as well consulted with the appropriate channels in constructing their guidelines to which they have communicated to all sailing clubs in the province.
To be clear, at this time, Sail NS advises that the club, including premises, wharves, floating docks and mooring fields will remain closed until further notice.
Within these constraints, it is still our intention to launch the floats and moorings as usual. We’ll advise you when and to what extent usage will be allowed for the floats, moorings, yard and clubhouse.
With regards to the Learn to Sail program, registration continues and if cancellations are necessary, full refunds will be provided. We will be offering further guidance on this as we approach the sailing season.
As for club racing and our August regattas, the team continues to work towards their implementation and we’ll be monitoring the situation week by week.
None of us can imagine how this pandemic will play out and how long it will keep us from participating in the sport we love. We send out our wishes for a speedy recovery to those in our community who may already have been struck by the virus.
Stay safe and stay healthy,
On behalf of the CYC Executive
David Creighton, Commodore
To all members of the Chester Yacht Club:
The current Covid-19 crisis represents unchartered waters for everyone. The Executive and Staff at the Chester Yacht continue to monitor this evolving situation and the impact it will have on the summer season ahead.
The health and safety of all our members and staff is of course the greatest importance.
In light of the uncertainty our current expectation, as a signal to those looking ahead, is that the floats and moorings are to be deployed as usual and preparations are underway for Club races to run as scheduled.
It is fair; however, to expect other aspects around the club including bar service, BBQs, and other socials to change in accordance to provincial and federal government guidance.
Planning for the summer’s Junior Sailing program and Chester Race Week also continues at this time; although we’re maintaining flexibility on commitments where we can as this is a very dynamic situation.
We will continue to monitor the Covid-19 crisis. Rest assured we will act prudently in the interest of health and safety of everyone as the situation evolves and communicate further updates regularly.
We will all weather this storm.
On behalf of the Executive and Staff of Chester Yacht Club…
Jennifer Chandler, Vice Commodore