Protocol to kickstart activity

Published on June 1st, 2020

With a fleet of boats from dinghies to offshore keelboats, Oakcliff Sailing is an adult and youth training center that hosts instruction and regattas in Oyster Bay, New York. Directed by Dawn Riley, the outfit prides itself on leadership, and with questions on how to activate the sport amid the coronavirus pandemic, Oakcliff Sailing is ready to lead the way. Here’s their report:

Just days after the start of the quarantine, the Oakcliff team began developing a protocol and product recommendation list for hosting sailboat regattas that can be applied to the general boating population to keep people safe while using sanitation procedures that are as environmentally-friendly as possible. To view Oakcliff’s COVID-19 Boating Safety Protocol… click here.

On the weekend of June 6-7, Oakcliff will test their protocol for the first time during their Quaranteam Regatta using the Match 40s in their fleet. The crews of 5 or 6 on each boat will consist of a household or a quaranteam of sailors who mutually attest to one another that they have been safely and strictly quarantined for at least two weeks prior.

Oakcliff has created an affidavit to formalize the team’s agreement and may implement testing in the future if it becomes more reliable and widely available.

To keep teams socially distanced from one another while on site, Oakcliff will transport one team at a time to their boats, with the driver separated from the crew by a line designating a 6-foot boundary. At all times, including during racing, the competitors will be required to wear face covers.

Oakcliff has developed and is producing athletic face coverings that offer UV protection and are antimicrobial and wicking. The face coverings also have a straw hole (patent-pending) in the back for use in social settings. Performance in the front, party in the back… click here.

After racing is completed for the day, there is normally a regatta party and debrief. The social aspect of sailing is important to the community too so Oakcliff has created solutions to have a food and beverage boat going around to the teams who will remain on their individual boats in the mooring field. The boats are all within shouting distance so they can still socialize with other teams while enjoying some well-earned, post-race food and drink in a responsible setting.

Oakcliff is excited to kickstart the racing community but also wants to stimulate the local economy. They are working with a number of local businesses to provide their “Performance in the Front, Party in the Back” drink-ready face coverings so customers can enjoy a beverage while still maintaining some level of protection.

If people don’t have to sacrifice safety to socialize and drink, they will be more likely to go out and spend money at the restaurants and bars who have been hit so hard by this outbreak.

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