RSYS sailing activities suspended

Letter from RSYS Commodore David Ward.

17 March 2020

Coronavirus Precautions – Suspended Activities & Closures

Dear Members and friends in Sailing,
Your General Committee and the Squadron’s Senior Management team have been monitoring on a continuous basis the growing implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our wider community and on our Club’s many activities and operations.

We are being guided by relevant Health Authorities, expert health input, senior management recommendations, as well as Member feedback. Our CEO William Pettigrew is in active dialogue with his counterparts at various major clubs and peak bodies, locally, interstate and overseas, as well as the NSW Department of Health.

We continue to assess the risk in relation to all operations, activities and events at the Club, paying particular attention to threats of transmission and the heightened vulnerability of our demographic membership base. As a consequence of this risk assessment, Members are advised that the following actions are effective immediately:

  1. All organised sailing and training activity for the season has been cancelled. See below for details.
  2. The Dining Room and Main Bar will remain open for lunch and dinner with bookings and table sizes limited to ensure appropriate distances.
  3. The Careening Cove Anchorage (CCA) will open for breakfast and lunch only (seven days), at a reduced capacity to a maximum of 100. No tables or groups larger than 6. Members must book prior to arrival, no “walk-ins” will be admitted in any restaurant.
  4. Forthcoming Squadron events are postponed e.g. Wine tastings, Wine Dinner, Book Club, Cruising Division, Literary Lunch, Friday Twilight Presentation Dinner.
  5. All Bridge activity at the Club has been suspended until further notice. This suspension includes all regular weekly sessions, social play, John Roberts lessons and the Stepping Stone House Bridge Day.
  6. The Club will not be hosting large functions before 1 May.
  7. The Club has cancelled all Clubhouse room accommodation bookings up until 1 May.
  8. Conference rooms are available with revised attendance capacities.
  9. Until further notice, the tender service and the repair service will operate as usual.

The NSW Health Infectious Disease Department has reviewed these measures and agreed that they are appropriate, responsible and well-considered given the current state, though acknowledges that circumstances can change rapidly.

Ultimately, our concern is for the health and wellbeing of everyone associated with our Club and this is the basis for these decisions. Other Squadron activities, events and operations will continue to be assessed, and we will keep you informed of further changes as the situation evolves.

The CEO and his senior management team have already taken a number of initiatives across the Club, particularly in terms of heightened hygiene, cleaning and food preparation.

We ask all Members to continue to practise good hygiene to protect against infections and

require that you not attend the club at all if:

  • you or anyone in your immediate family and work colleagues has COVID-19
  • you or anyone in your immediate family and work colleagues has been in contact with a known COVID-19 patient
  • you or anyone in your immediate family and work colleagues is in voluntary isolation, say as a recent overseas returnee
  • anyone has a cold or cold-like symptoms.

We are grateful to all Members, staff and experts for their guidance and co-operation. As COVID-19 continues to impact the lives of people everywhere, we seek your understanding and know that you share our concerns, given these trying times. We are a Club first and foremost - a Club having at our core the care of our Members, your guests, and our staff. 

We will share additional information as soon as it becomes available. Updates will also be posted to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron website, with a link to a regularly updated document providing Members with the latest information and updates about Club activities and the General Committee’s thinking and decisions.

We appreciate your patience as we make every effort to continue to assess the situation and communicate effectively and efficiently.


Warm regards,

David Ward


Sailing to be cancelled:

  • Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday Youth Dinghy Sailing activities
  • PONANT Friday Twilight
  • All Saturday racing (Summer Series, Mini A's, Mini B's, Varuna Trophy race)
  • Sunday Twilight
  • Stepping Stone House Regatta
  • RSYS Annual Cruise
  • All RSYS Sailing Academy courses including: 
    • Sunday Tackers 1, 2 & 3
    • Sunday Keelboat Start Crewing, Start Helming, Start Skippering, Spinnakers
    • Wednesday LOTS Keelboat Start Crewing, Start Helming, Start Skippering, Spinnakers.

A decision on the Combined Clubs Winter Series will be advised closer to the time.

Included in our calendar but not run by RSYS:

  • RPEYC Wednesday afternoon racing
  • SOPS racing on March 21 that is being run by MHYC

Skippers should refer to these clubs regarding details.


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