Dear Members,

As we come to the end of the summer, I just want to give everyone a quick update on what has probably been the strangest six months in most people’s lives, and certainly one of the strangest sailing seasons in Sutton Dinghy Club’s history. 

That said, despite the lack of sailing early on, we did get sailing and we did run courses. During the lockdown we stuck to the Government and Irish Sailing guidelines for each phase, running supervised sailing with sign-in and physical distancing. As the phased restrictrictions eased the club was to the fore in drawing up the procedures to ‘return to sailing’, which facilitated the running of the Club and Open courses, and club racing. These procedures were used as a template and adopted by many other clubs around the country. 

With children looking for any excuse to get out of the house and other sports summer camps not up and running, places on the courses were like ‘hens teeth’ and oversubscribed in many cases. Club racing and the Club regatta were also very well supported. A big thank you to all sailors, course participants, instructors, CE staff and, Hugh, the Club Principle. I would also like to pay special thanks to parents who have encouraged their young sailors to get involved and who have had to watch from outside the compound in order to allow for reduced numbers and physical distancing guidelines to be practiced. Thank you all.

And then, just as we were believing that this would go on forever, the county was thrown back into another lockdown of sorts with Level 3 of ‘Living with Covid’ bringing restrictions back into play. So, for the time being, we are back to Supervised Sailing with single handed sailors, and double handed from same family and access to the compound for sailors and volunteers only. But we fully intend to keep going as long as the weather permits, and if we return to Level 2, we can restart Club racing.

Finally, I have to inform you of two of the casualties of this season’s events. Not what you think! Just to say that the Book Trophy Team Racing against Royal Cork Yacht Club has been postponed from this weekend. Both clubs are keen to run this event and keep up the longstanding tradition. We continue to look for suitable dates and equally suitable permissible guidelines.

We have also taken the decision to cancel our All Ireland Inter-Schools Sailing event which was planned for the 17th October. Interest from the majority of schools was not forthcoming, which is understandable as they have so many new practices to implement in their schools. We will quickly look at suitable dates for next year and as we inform the schools of the cancellation we will plant the seed for next year.

That’s all for now, Stay Safe, Stay Sailing.

Ian McCormack