So, very many thanks to Immediate-past Captain Claudine who has led the Club during some of the most difficult time in the club's history. Well done to her and I'm very pleased she's still on board, now as Secretary, because I lose track of all the website and online systems on which the Club is now run!
The COVID-situation remains the most challenging on-going issue we face. British Rowing have just issued the 7th revision of their code… I need to sit down with a stiff drink and try and catch up, but I believe Rachel (what would we do without her) has a grasp of the situation.
Thinking about it, we've had it 'relatively' easy during the summer because our activities have been outside in warm weather. We're now coming into the cold dark winter period; a very different proposition. Winter training is currently spread around the club with juniors training in the clubroom (limited to four), outside on the balcony and in the boathouse. Hardly ideal, but neither is COVID-19 so we make the best of it.
I'm aware that us coaches are (with some exceptions) at the older end of the age scale and that we have members with health issues and to protect them (and us) I've instituted a requirement for juniors to wear masks at all times whilst on club premises unless bum on ergo/rowing seat. I should be most grateful if adult members of the club would, if they are able to do so, join the juniors in wearing a mask. Not popular I know but apart from taking care of each other it's important that we are seen by the community to be doing something positive.
It's great to be back on the water... just in time for red boards again. Please don't venture out if you are uncertain as to your ability to cope in the conditions. It's very embarrassing to have to be rescued. When I was learning to fly (1981) I was told that there are "old pilots and bold pilots, but rarely old, bold pilots" - same could apply to rowers.
A COVID-secure Silver Sculls has been planned within an inch of it's life, with input from British Rowing and social distancing + firmly spelt out in words of one syllable. Anyone who thinks it will be anything like previous event will be surprised. It's pretty much been halved in capacity and apart from some marshals there won't be any activity at Cowey Sale with the few trailers permitted having been farmed out to four widely spaced venues around the river. British Rowing are watching how we do it as a possible template for other open events in the new COVID era. Huge thanks to the SS committee who have been extremely diligent in their preparations. All we need now are benign weather conditions… and helpers!
Looking ahead, we are hoping that Walton will be able to run their small boats event in December (they are greatly assisting with the Silver Sculls as usual) and I've started to think about how we might be able to run a Christmas Pudding race event at Christmas. Maybe things will have eased enough to have a Burns Night dinner in January.
Until the next ‘By The WEY’…
All best wishes,