A Message from the Commodore – May 11th 2020

11th May 2020

Dear SCSC Members,

Clearly we are experiencing unprecedented times.

As I am sure you are all aware, it is very unlikely the SCSC sailing fortnight will go ahead as planned this year. Although recreational sailing is likely to be one of the first sports to resume after lock down competitive sailing will be hindered by difficulties managing races with respect to maintaining social distancing in race officer teams, safety boat procedures and social distancing within boats unless crews are restricted to family units. It is also unlikely that over 70’s would be allowed to compete given current shielding/cocooning restrictions.

The major impediment however will be travel restrictions. The Irish Government has been very clear with its advice published on 8th May:
‘You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from any other country. This includes Irish citizens coming home. Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people.

Moreover the roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions limits movement within Ireland until phase 4 (anticipated to be 20th July) when it is planned that ‘you will be able to travel outside your region and beyond the 20 kilometre restriction in imposed in phase 3’.

Also in phase 4, ‘small social (non-family) gatherings will be allowed but are to be limited to a maximum number of participants for a period of time where social distancing can be maintained; and competitive sports can recommence but only where limitations are placed on the numbers of spectators and where social distancing can be maintained.

Restrictions are further lifted in phase 5 (anticipated to be 10th August) including social gatherings when ‘some large social (non-family) gatherings can take place – these will also be restricted.’ However, still in phase 5, it is planned to ‘continue to restrict movement of all who are in 14 days self isolation’ which currently would also include all those travelling from abroad until this specific requirement is lifted (no date given yet).

The above dates are ‘an indication of what might happen if everything goes well with restricting the spread of COVID-19 in Ireland’ and are subject to change. They are likely to represent the best-case scenario.

Further to consider is the fear, particularly within small village communities in tourist destinations, of non-residents bringing in coronavirus from outside and the effect this tension exerts on relations between visitors (including second homers and extended family) and residents. We are seeing this here in the South West of England and it is also a factor in West Cork.

The executive committee of the SCSC met yesterday to discuss what options we have with regard to the 2020 sailing fortnight. We agreed that it is more than likely that we will need to cancel the entire sailing and social programme but that we will hold off making a final decision until 6 weeks prior to the planned start of the race programme, that is decision by Sunday 14th June 2020.

The precise future timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to predict accurately but as time goes by facts become clearer and actions necessary to keep individuals and communities’ safe, as well as people’s attitudes, evolve.

In the meantime we continue to follow the advice of the Irish Government and if you wish to read this for yourself I will post the relevant links here:



Yours Sincerely

Seán Cochrane
Commodore SCSC