As states begin to lift restrictions on gathering and marinas open back up, many sailing programs are still wary, especially since sailors from different households will necessarily be in close quarters, whether on their boat, in a launch or at a yacht club. Most will not be able to maintain six feet between crew members or avoid touching all the same surfaces.
This comes as a huge challenge to most summer programs, including Oakcliff Sailing in New York. However, a proactive approach has resulted in their rigorous sanitization and social distancing protocol that is keeping much of their program intact where others have had to cancel an entire season.
This protocol outlines specifics like access to sanitization supplies, quarantining boats for 24 hours between crews, taking temperatures, mandatory masks and confining sailors to specific zones of the boat relative to their crew position. These requirements and many others will be enforced for the entirety of the season. Oakcliff is also fortunate in that their sailors and staff live onsite. This means, from the beginning of the outbreak, they’ve been able to create a quarantined “bubble” to ensure that all their employees are able to safely work together without risking infection. After spending two weeks in quarantine, program participants will be able to join the bubble as well.
Though it’s sure to add extra time and effort, Oakcliff is committed to launching this season safely. This weekend, they take a major step with their “Quaranteam” Regatta, the first of its kind.
For more information on the Oakcliff protocol and reopening goals, and for their recommendations for general public boating safety this season, visit oakcliffsailing.org/about-oakcliff/where-to-stay/