Keeping sailing healthy and well

Published on June 4th, 2020

We admit to having digital fatigue. During the coronavirus pandemic, the go-to solution to remain connected was to create video content, but there are only so many how-to topics we can consume. Enough already!

Sailors want to sail, and while most regions have some form of health restriction impacting the sport (sorry Chicago!), making adjustments to activate participation is the function of every sailing organization.

For those waiting to return to their normal competition schedule, they will be waiting too long as the season is on and people want to get on the water. Sailing is about reacting to the conditions, so let’s react!

That’s the game plan at Park City Sailing Association, located 32 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and elevated 7000 feet amid some of Utah’s great ski resorts. Ken Block provides the update:

So much of today’s sailing news is either stories of the past or an announcement of a regatta cancellation. Here on the Jordanelle Reservoir just outside of Park City, sailing is growing at a record rate. This is our 13th season and 13 may be our lucky number.

As the month of May started, members began to use the club’s J/22s and Rhodes 19s the moment the boats hit the frigid mountain water. Families that had been quarantined at home since mid- March found an opportunity to have a safe family activity under the ski slopes of Deer Valley. The club boats are each equipped with “Sani-Kits” to allow members to sanitize the cockpits to adhere to County regulations.

This week our Laser ILCA racing season began with 17 Lasers were on the starting line, which is the largest first night turnout in the club’s history. It was an ideal convergence of pent-up demand of active people and a COVID-19 friendly design. We are not sure that Bruce Kirby had this in mind when he designed the Laser, but hopefully other clubs see this opportunity for 2020.

On June 8, our Junior Sailing program begins, and while registration looked bleak in early April, it has rebounded and the program is virtually sold out. While the weather forecast on day one is for snow, our kids will sail. This is not the first time we will sail in the snow but sailing in the mountains is different.

The staff has worked closely with County health officials and has been approved to run camps for the summer. It will be a single child per boat unless there are children from the same families. The new fleet of 10 Teras and the trusty Optis will be very busy. As County rules are updated, the program will be modified to follow the changes.

The entire team at Park City Sailing offers encouragement to the countless clubs that are facing some difficult challenges this year. Let us all work to keeping sailing healthy and well.

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