Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of the Club on March 17th there have been joint meetings of the Management Committee and the Captain and Vice Captains of the Rowing & Coaching Committee which have focused mainly on the financial management of the club and preparations for a phased reopening following guidance to clubs issued by British Rowing on May 15th.
The cancellation of events and closure of the caravan site have led inevitably to considerable loss of potential revenue.
After a UK Government announcement on May 13th allowing the resumption of watersports for exercise and recreation, plans for a phased reopening and a return to single sculling for limited groups of members were put in place, in conjunction with a risk assessment and adherence to social distancing guidelines, with the first stage commencing from May 21st. At this stage only the boathouse was opened for use in accordance with appropriate safety measures. Other club facilities remain closed at the present time.
Further British Rowing guidance issued on May 22nd to assist clubs with planning for the return to rowing added more detail about what to expect during future phases. Coupled with feedback from members this meant some revisions to the guidance given to members by the Rowing & Coaching Committee. Small groups of members are able to book single sculls for use at stipulated times but with no formal group coaching.
The BR advice identified 6 phases, A to F, of the return to rowing process of which currently we have reached phase B.
Progression to phase C which will permit the reopening of club facilities such as the gym and bar is anticipated to take place no earlier than July 4th, aligned to Step 3 of the UK Government plan for adjusting social distancing measures.
Due to restrictions on large gatherings it has been decided to postpone the popular Classics by the River event, due to have been on July 6th, which was so successful last year. If another suitable date can be found in the calendar it may be rescheduled.
Public health remains the number one priority.