Return to Sailing Scheme

Return to Sailing Scheme

UPDATE: 12 May 2020: “Return to Sailing” Phase 1 

Phase 1 of the “Irish Sailing Return to Sailing” Scheme is designed to support clubs, centres and members to put measures in place that will allow the safe return to our sports on a gradual basis, subject to the lifting of the Coastguard’s current advisory notice. The Irish Sailing Return to Sailing Scheme Phase 1 includes three sections:

  1. 4 x fundamental principles that will affect the decision to go afloat:
    • Compliance with current Covid 19 restrictions
    • Personal responsibility – for your own safety and compliance
    • Self help  - alternative means of safely returning to shore
    • Risk Assessment – assisting the decision making process
  2. Irish Sailing Return to Sailing Scheme Phase 1 (starting on 18 May)
  3. Risk Assessment template for organisations. Other supports will be published soon, including a FAQ section on our website, and a “Safety Testing” document which will give more practical tips on safely returning to your boat. The government also published their own Return to Work protocol which we will be referencing

We continue to work with Sport Ireland on guidelines for Phase 2 and beyond, with the hope that travel restrictions may be reviewed, and multi-household groups be allowed to convene.

In the meantime, by working together and using these Phase 1 principles and guidelines sensibly and responsibly, we can make sure that our return to the water is safe for all.

Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing

... Download the Irish Sailing Return to Sailing Scheme Phase 1 HERE


UPDATE: 8 May 2020: Irish Sailing working with Sport Ireland on a “Return to Sailing” document outlining guidelines for a return to our sports 

Following the Government’s roadmap launch on 1 May, we have been working in consultation with Irish Sailing Clubs and Training centres to develop some initial guidelines to help clubs and activity centres with their early planning. The draft “Return to Sailing” document is a first look at Irish Sailing’s recommendations for how sailing, windsurfing and powerboating activities may be resumed on a phased basis. At the same time, Sport Ireland have advised they are drafting a ‘Return to Sport Document’ giving more clarity around the Government’s plan, and have indicated they believe sailing will be able to resume in Phase 1, subject to approval of our plan and the lifting of the Coastguards current advisory notice.

We hope to have more information on this early next week, at which time we can finalise the ‘Return to Sailing Scheme’.

Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing


UPDATE: 5 May 2020 – Irish Sailing seeking clarification from Department of Sport

With Phase 1 of restriction easing beginning on 18 May, we are currently drafting a plan while we seek clarification from the Department of Sport on a number of issues. Careful consideration must go into the plan as we have a wide number of different stakeholder groups requiring scenarios to cope with social distancing regulations.  We anticipate that we will have this draft plan to discuss with Clubs, Centres and members towards the end of this week.

Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing


UPDATE: Friday 1 May 2020: Covid-19 Update on extending restrictions

This evening Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced an extension to the current restrictions until Monday 18 May. He stated that from that date, some sporting activity would be allowed to commence in small groups. As soon as the Government’s roadmap for phased easing of restrictions is published, we will be in a position to act and will update on any plans as soon as we can.  

Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing

Enc: Road to Return


Covid-19 update on the Irish Sailing “Return to Sailing Scheme” proposal to Sport Ireland

Since the shutdown commenced, Irish Sailing has been communicating on behalf of our members with various government stakeholders to present a case for our sport to be viewed as a ‘low risk’ activity, so that we will be allowed to return to sailing as quickly and safely as possible as restrictions start to be lifted. We believe that with appropriate measures, a basic level of safe and responsible activity can be delivered to get our members active on the water.

To this end, we submitted a proposal to Sport Ireland (the Government’s agency coordinating a return to sport activities) outlining protocols and priorities in a “Return to Sailing Scheme” document. As our members know, it is a fundamental principal of sailing that the decision to go afloat both for individuals and activity organisers is based on a combination of self-responsibility and risk assessment. The Return to Sailing Scheme proposed by Irish Sailing extends these principles to include the mitigation of Covid 19 risks to allow individuals and activity organisers make informed decisions on their own interests and activities. 

Irish Sailing believes that limited activities can take place even within current guidelines, however there are some measures that were included in our submission for the lifting of restrictions that we feel would significantly facilitate boating activities. These include:

  • Irish Sailing Clubs and Accredited Training Centres allowed to organise activities in compliance with National guidelines
  • Social gatherings of two (or more) households permitted to enable double handed sailing
  • 2km limit for exercise extended to allow travel to the venue
  • Public marinas and boat maintenance facilities open to allow essential access, lifting and maintenance
  • Over 70’s who are currently cocooning allowed access to their boats to facilitate their health and well being
  • Access for boat owners to maintain their craft and minimise damage of facilities and property in case of storm or bad weather

Whilst there is currently much media coverage around the lifting of restrictions, and an announcement to be made in the coming days which is causing some confusion and speculation, Irish Sailing can only respond to official announcements, and we will communicate any options for returning to sailing activities as and when they are announced.

At this challenging time for all, Irish Sailing is focused on getting our members active on the water as soon as is safely possible. Members will be first to hear when this possible.

Harry Hermon, CEO, Irish Sailing

Previous Corona Virus Updates can be found here

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