IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL MEMBERS
WSC GENERAL COMMITTEE UPDATE ON COVID-19 AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS – 27 JUNE 2020
What Have We Done So Far? What Happens Next? – AGM.
Changes to Membership and Boat Storage Fees.
We hope this letter finds you safe and well. Since the lockdown the General Committee has been working hard to support members and provide access to amenities again for members. To its credit WSC has moved faster than other sailing clubs in the area in making facilities available to members whilst still following Government guidelines for Covid 19 and meeting the stringent health and safety measures required.
As I’m sure you can appreciate it has been and continues to be, no easy task. We have tried to keep you informed as best we can of changes as the crisis has developed and we will continue to do so.
Whilst producing our plans we have also considered the need to ensure the future of the Club remains as healthy as possible financially and continues to thrive as a sports, leisure and social club.
The Club’s finances are not fully covered by membership fees. They require additional income from the bar, regular and individual lettings of the clubhouse and our social events, all of which are currently on hold because of the crisis. Some income also comes from services provided to members such as boat storage and cruiser launching.
The situation has been made a little easier because we have received a Government grant of £20,000 to provide financial support in this crisis but this may not be enough to make up for the loss of income this year
You will have already received the June Newsletter with general information about what is happening in the Club but we are providing a few important additional
developments here. Full details of the amenities available for members to use are on the website.
What Have We Done So Far?
- We have published guidance on the website for how members can use their own boats within Government guidelines.
- We have made toilet facilities available in the Clubhouse for members.
- We have made the club dinghies and the canoe available to members who wish to use them, with procedures in place to meet Government guidelines.
What Happens Next?
Annual General Meeting
At the General Committee meeting on Tuesday 23rd June it was agreed that :-
Following our inability to hold the AGM in March due to the lock down, now restrictions have eased, the AGM will be held as soon as possible.
Appropriate notice and time for discussion and voting on proposals will be given to confirm accounts, elect officers and change the constitution to meet issues raised by the Covid 19 crisis and some important changes arising from some out of date clauses.
There is still some work to do to develop the format and management of the AGM under current and predicted Government guidelines.
With the above in mind the GC is aiming to hold the AGM in early to mid-September.
Changes to Membership and Boat Storage Fees
Changes to Membership and Fees
Following a discussion on the loss of amenity suffered by members because of the crisis and with the support of the government grant the following changes to membership and boat storage fees have been agreed for this year.
Subject to the approval of the AGM, the membership period for this year for all members will be extended to 28th February 2021 giving members a bonus of 2 free months and the membership period thereafter will be 1st March to 28/29th February.
For this year only, to attract new members to join the Club, those joining after 1st July 2020 will receive membership until the end of the next membership period, March 2022. This facility normally applies to new members from 1st October in any year.
Changes to Moorings and Storage Fees
Mooring Holders and Cruiser Owners
This year the late launching fee for cruising boats will not be charged because of the current inability of the lifting section to launch them under Government Guidelines.
In addition, the mooring fees will only be charged for the period 1st October 2020 to 31st March – a reduction of 50% for mooring holders.
The normal winter hardstanding fee will remain in effect from 1st October 2020 to 31st March 2021 for cruising boats.
Dinghy and Canoe & Kayak owners
This year the storage fee will only be charged from 1st July 2020 to 31st March 2021 – a reduction of 25% for members storing boats on Club premises.
Donations from Members
The reductions on normal charges have been made by the General Committee based on their assessment of the loss of amenity suffered in general by members due to the crisis. If members feel their loss of amenity is less than the GC has assessed, the GC encourages them, if they wish, and are able, to consider making donations to reduce the shortfall in the Club income. If appropriate, donations can be made anonymously to support the Club.
Future Plans Related To The Covid19 Epidemic
The GC is committed to taking a considered and conservative approach in seeking the best guidance to safely restart social functions and organised water activities.
The next focus is to open the club bar as soon as possible and a working group is looking into the issues following the latest Government announcements which apply from 4th July. In the meantime, all access to club buildings with the exception of the clubhouse foyer and a toilet remain closed.
Next on the agenda is the use of safety boats and the resumption of social sailing and racing.
Future Plans for Club Development (Non Covid 19 Related)
Following the results of the survey of members 18 months ago the GC has been developing plans to diversify its water activities :-
- With the rise in interest in kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding locally and an influx of new members form the former Wivenhoe Canoe and Kayak Club in May, the Sailing Secretary, Jon Scales is leading efforts to support the growth of these paddle sports in the Club.
- It is hoped to provide a new temporary 1 year “Getting Afloat” membership to encourage new members to join the Club when Government guidelines permit.
- In support of the “Getting Afloat” programme and diversifying water activities, the club has bought “Linnet”, a 14ft 6in rowing skiff. She is being added to the fleet of club boats available to members. Daniel Stoker, as Interim Rowing Captain is leading efforts to establish a WSC Coastal Rowing Section which includes “Linnet” being available in July for members to try out. Because of its layout and size it is hoped that this can include the ability for mixed household crews to get afloat in a socially distanced way.
For more details see the WSC website or e email Daniel at email@example.com
In Conclusion :-
- Please stay alert to the requirements for maintaining social distancing when in the car and dinghy park, rigging boats and moving to the hard.
- Please be courteous and considerate to members of the public on the public footpath in front of the Club especially when crossing it going to and from the hard.
- Please be aware of other members when launching and recovering boats so that safe distancing is maintained between you and others on their way up or down the hard.
- Please read the weekly Club alerts and check the Club website regularly for details of changes and developments in opening up the Club amenities.
We will continue to monitor the Covid 19 situation as it develops and provide new club advice and guidelines based on changes to Government guidelines to steer the
Club and members as safely as possible through each change in our return to a “new normal”.
For now please review the “Safety Advice for Independent Sailing” on the website as the club is currently not able to provide safety cover for independent sailing yet so:-
All sailing will be at your own risk.
Maintaining social distancing is critical, we may have to review our activities possibly to the detriment of all our members if it is not adhered to.
The club does not want to draw adverse comment from anyone due to guidelines not being followed.
Thank you all for your continuing support for the Club in these difficult times.
Bernie Hetherington Commodore
On behalf of Wivenhoe Sailing Club General Committee