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Thread: Covid-19 Considerations

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Covid-19 Considerations

    There is a SSS board meeting tomorrow night to discuss plans/options for upcoming meetings and races and the implications of next steps etc.

    In light of everything that is happening and for some context, here are some recent sailing event announcements and some news about Hawaii/Kauai that will weigh into decisions, discussions and plans etc along with the prospect of getting USCG event/racing permits etc.

    Any feedback is welcome.

    Recent race cancellations:
    2020 Newport to Bermuda Race:

    BAMA Doublehanded Farallones:

    Swiftsure Race:

    PNW Offshore Race:

    Antigua Sailing Week:



    Newport to Ensenada Race:

    World ARC Cruising Rally:

    Clipper Round the World:

    Some races that are as of today, still happening and their outlook:
    Pacific Cup:


    Hawaii News:
    Scroll down the “Mayors Emergency Proclamations”

    14 Day Quarantine:

    HI Governor 30 day Travel Postponement:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Bodfish, CA


    To stage an event takes approval from many organizations at local or national level. At this time, all agencies seem to be on the restriction cycle. The opinions will change when the supporting disease numbers show a decline and when public health agencies feel risk is under control or can be controlled.

    Many sailing events have long lead times (1-2 years) in preparation. In addition, there is expenses that may not be recovered if event is cancelled.

    If the expenses are critical and approvals are uncertain, postponement or cancellation is the only choice.

    For the covid-19 situation, the risks seem very small to the big picture, but agencies are almost always reluctant to say "acceptable risk".

    With a 2 year cycle and a needed weather window to hold the race, the choice to postpone one year or cancel gets touchy.

    I don't think any of these comments are new. But, they may generate more online discussion.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    The Vic-Maui race is presumably still on, though no discussion on their website regarding COVID-19 ramifications.

    A concern for starting and finishing any race is the race committee and how close (or not) the people are physically during the starts and finishes - how does one maintain a 6 foot distance between people at all times while on race deck? There's also the issue of driving to/from the race deck - is there any issue with people driving for 'non-esssential' reasons?

    For doublehanders - how do they maintain separation while on a boat that is racing? Probably can't do that, so doublehanding doesn't work unless you're racing with the person you live with at home.

    For Singlehanded TransPac, I believe it is too early to make a go/no-go call on the race. The key would be for the SSS to determine what the deadline date is for a go/no-go decision, and then work backwards in time to see what needs to be done (or can be avoided) until the go/no-go date. For example, holding seminars on-line is a good move as the skippers will need lead time to act on information picked up from a seminar - in other words, you don't want to delay seminars to the day before the start, so carry on with the seminars (plus seminars hopefully aren't expensive to conduct). If there are significant expenses coming up, document those and work out how long they can remain unpaid - that way expenditures are limited until a go/no-go decision is made. I would hope the goal is to refund entry fees if the race does not happen.

    I would also investigate what happens if the race is postponed to 2021 - is this a possibility? If yes, then work out what would need to be done to make that happen (e.g., find out from 2020 skippers if any might be able to make 2021), and keep that information in the back pocket until the go/no-go decision.

    For Singlehanded TransPac one unfortunate concern is what happens if a skipper is sick upon departure and then becomes seriously ill and requires medical attention during the race (or even dies, for that matter)? Does the SSS want to put people into that risk? Such an occurrence has always been a possibility; given the current virus running around the risk is increased. Is that an issue? (something for the Board to consider).

    Unfortunately the COVID-19 virus is not something we can do anything about other than to help break transmission simply by staying put, avoiding contact, and therefore hopefully not spread the disease around further. I have no idea how long it will take for the outbreak in California and Hawaii to recede to a point where people can get back to a more 'normal' world. Given it took China 4-5 months to do that, I would expect the USA current situation to continue through to end of June, at best.

    At least those are some thoughts, will be interesting to learn what the SSS Board arrives at as regards best way to handle racing going forward.

    - rob/beetle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Santa Rosa


    Again, I think Rob is correct. One further thought about a skipper becoming ill after leaving for Hawaii: a potential rescue by a commercial ship would expose that ship's Good Samaritan crew. I doubt if any commercial ship has the medical facilities required for either treatment or containment. I agree that the situation in China seems to have gotten better, but if you've followed the methods Chinese authorities used to "contain" the virus, it makes staying home in California look like a vacation. I received an email from a friend in Germany today. France is limiting folks to 500 feet from their residence and he thinks Germany is considering a similar restriction. I strongly agree with Rob's "possible" 2021 thoughts. Pat - "NANCY"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Benicia, CA


    I did enquire in Solano county about whether single handed sailing was permitted given the stay at home order. While they allowed that it seemed to be OK, they were reluctant to do anything except reiterate 6 feet apart-since my boat is 15 feet wide, I think I won't be any closer to anyone than 6 feet. I probably will take a sail out of Benicia Marina this coming Tue and Wed since it'll be warm again. I can envision reverse start single handed races leaving a marina with no committee where it is obvious who wins by who comes back first. No awards, of course, but we all just race for ego, right?
    Respectfully, Thom

    SeaRail 19, SriRacha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Discovery Bay, CA


    I live in Discovery Bay. lots of people out in small boats, Kayaks, and SUPs. Everyone being responsible. It's a hell of a way to social distance but still have a little fun. Not only that but I am getting some serious project time on the sailboat. I have been told as long as I am alone or with family members with whom I are covering in place (only me and the real Jacqueline) it would be OK to be out on the big boat. I don't see any enforcement but people seem to realize this is serious and are staying away from one another. Other than being an old guy who could die if got covid19, I am having a pretty good time.

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