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CYCA next steps - A message from Commodore Paul Billingham

by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 30 Jul 22:29 PDT
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Clubhouse in Darling Point. © Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

As mentioned in the update of 30 July, the Board met last night in a Zoom meeting to discuss the week's events and the next steps for our Club.

From the outset, we recognised and thanked the great work of the CYCA Team in applying our COVIDSafe plan so well. NSW Health has been highly complimentary of the way in which the Club had conducted its business since reopening and how this had made their investigations so much easier. We also recognised and thank Members for their almost universal support for the Club's quick actions in seeking to bring the issue under control.

Importantly, it should be noted that the Board acted faster and more conservatively than strictly necessary in closing the Club, testing all of our CYCA Staff and Directors and undertaking a three-day deep clean. This prudence has since stood us in good stead and with all Directors and Staff returning clean tests (a few staff results awaited), as a Board we are as comfortable as we can be as to the appropriateness of the actions taken.

But we now have to decide how and when we should reopen the Club - based not just upon the medical advice of NSW Health but recognising our duty of care to the community, the expectations of our Members and our influential position in the sport.

As such the Board has decided, all things being equal, as follows:

  • The Clubhouse will remain closed until Monday 10 August;
  • The Winter Series race this Sunday 2 August is cancelled and the next race will therefore be Sunday 9 August;
  • The offices will remain closed until Monday 10 August, however many Staff will be working from home and still contactable. Please feel free to call (02) 8292 7800 for assistance;
  • Sailing Office Staff will be in on Sunday 9 August to administer that race; and
  • The Marina, car parks and tender service will remain open throughout.
In reaching this decision the Board identified the desirability of a 14-day window, a common guideline, before Members and guests re-enter the Club and mingle socially. It also recognised however, that the COVID-19 infections we experienced had nothing to do with sailing activity and with our "stow & go" policy in place, after an appropriate one-week hiatus, we hope to continue with the Winter Series.

The above dates are of course subject to no further infections arising that are linked to the Club or any tightening of permissible operations by NSW Government.

Blue Water races

The increasing closures to the Queensland border and their impact on the postponed Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race was discussed. The Sailing Committee will keep a watching brief on the situation and, if necessary, will formally revisit our plans for the race, in conjunction with our sponsor Noakes and finishing partner Southport Yacht Club, in mid-August.

There is no impact on plans for other Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore races, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, from current events.

I hope this clarifies our thinking as your Board and Members appreciate the difficulty of the decisions with which we are faced.

For more information visit cyca.com.au.

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