Wednesday June 3, 2020 07:27AMon
Just as we are all used to anticipating and responding to the shifting breeze in Fishing Bay, the Flag, the Sailing Commanders, Chairs, our staff, and numerous volunteers are all at work to actively monitor and adapt to the dynamic environment driven by CoVid 19. As we move into June, with recommended safety measures in place, we will see racing extend beyond the virtual to the real, with Offshore, Juniors, and One-Design sailors competing on the water. For 2020, the Junior programs have been restructured around an exciting vision for Juniors to learn and enjoy sailing with appropriate safeguards.
As FBYC is committed to following the evolving guidance from the State of Virginia around group interactions, we are assessing actions to structure appropriate social events, open Club facilities, and potentially operate the pool. Below are some brief updates on status and reopening plans for operations and activities at FBYC; please check regularly on status, as we continue to adapt to the evolving safety and regulatory requirements. We will be scheduling a Membership Forum over Zoom for early next week to offer a general presentation of our plans and to invite questions and input from our members. Keep an eye out for a separate notice when the date and time are set.
Cruising: The Cruising Division’s calendar will pick up with a planned Delmarva Circumnavigation starting June 27th. The cruise leaders have been working out the details with the various marinas as the states and waterways are beginning to open up. The cruisers are planning to go forward with the remaining 2020 events while adhering to guidance and appropriate safety measures.
One Design and Offshore Racing: After a series of cancellations and postponements, racing is set to resume after June 10th. The first Offshore race is scheduled for June 13th, with a One-Design event wrapping up the weekend on June 14th. To get people back on the water and have fun safely, races and race formats will be conducted in conformity with current governmental guidelines and may evolve with time. We anticipate that skippers and crews will exercise good judgement in promoting safe practices. The updated schedule is now on the website. Please be aware that this, too, may change if CDC or our state requirements/orders adjust. But for now, we are commencing sailing as of June 13th, full steam ahead!
Junior Race Teams: The Junior Race Team will begin practicing in mid-June led by internationally-renowned coach Alex Zimmerman and several local favorites, including many of our prior Juniors who have honed their skills. Many of the large national and regional championships have already been cancelled and others are postponed. The race programs are structured to support social distancing and safe practices. While we are awaiting further clarification of the schedules, racing will be focused on practice and invitational events among top clubs.
Junior Program: Rescheduled from their traditional June dates, Opti Kids (July 25-26 and Aug 1-2) and Junior Week (Aug 2-6) are scheduled to get underway later this summer. For both programs, the overall philosophy remains the same: “If kids have fun sailing with their friends, they will come back for more!” The Junior Program leaders and parents have worked diligently this winter and spring to embrace this philosophy and to redesign the Junior instruction programs to address the need for a safe and fun environment. They have been active in the national junior sailing discussions as well as with leading clubs around the Chesapeake Bay. Junior participants and their parents will see changes from years past, but will benefit from an approach that is becoming one of the model programs on the East Coast.
Pool Operation: The Flag and Operations Team are closely monitoring potential requirements for a recreational pool, and have completed a comprehensive assessment of what may be required to operate the FBYC pool this season. The assessment is informed by guidance from the CDC, the state, and the camping and pool industry. A decision on if and how the pool will be opened is currently awaiting the Governor’s release of his Phase Three guidelines, which should include guidelines for operating public pools. Note: Many pools have already decided to forego the 2020 season. For example, the Town of Urbanna, the Brandermill Community in Chesterfield, and Deltaville Community Association will not open their pools this summer. They determined that the regulations and recommendations to open safely currently exceed their existing capabilities and protocols. FBYC is in a “wait and see” mode, with the hope that we can potentially open if we can adhere to guidelines and still provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our Club members.
Club Facilities, Operations and Social Events: The East Bathhouse, docks, new and improved ramp, grills, and lift are all open for members’ use. FBYC is currently not extending transient or reciprocal privileges to non-members. There are plans in place to enable the opening of different FBYC facilities, such as the porches, Fannie’s House, and the Clubhouse as the Virginia’s phased opening allows. These plans take into consideration occupancy limits and social distancing, as well as the need to clean common areas with higher frequency. As occupancy and social distancing guidelines are implemented, events from Movie Nights to Grounds Day are being redesigned. Announcements will be forthcoming as the scheduling and structure of social events come together.
Maintenance and general improvement work has continued this year. Fannie’s House has seen the installation of new flooring throughout, along with painting of restrooms and commons rooms. The Clubhouse loft and porch, as well as the East Bathhouse, are up next for painting. With the loss of our grounds/facilities person paired with the cancelation of Spring Clean-up and the rainy spring, ground maintenance and improvement projects have fallen behind schedule. Members, working primarily in family groups, and Brian have completed Spring Clean-up chores, as well as a number of landscaping and planting projects, including new additions around Rick’s Place and the FBYC sign. In addition to the ongoing grounds maintenance, several grounds projects such as cleaning out and then rebuilding the one-design lot with new barrier material and new gravel are on the list for this year.
Staffing: The more frequent cleaning and disinfecting requirements under current guidelines for facilities and equipment and overall maintenance are the primary focus for the staff. Personnel are being added to meet these needs. There is an active search to fill the vacant grounds/facilities positon and, with obligations for classes winding down, we have added a greater number of part-time summer workers than we have employed in the past. As we fill gaps in our staffing, we are utilizing additional contract services to deliver the support required to reopen facilities and equipment. Brian has been managing general Club operations, ensuring the safe operation of the water system, conducting walk-throughs, checking facilities, grounds and boats, providing general maintenance and repairs, recruiting, training and managing contractors and part-time staff, and working with the Flag and Chairs in the development and implementation of reopening plans for the buildings and pool.
We are all looking forward to getting back to fully enjoying sailing and our friends, events, and facilities at FBYC. While we recognize these plans are fluid, we remain focused on the goal of enabling members to safely enjoy our great sport at FBYC this summer. As we move forward, please use common sense, be considerate of your fellow members, and follow guidelines developed to help keep all our members, staff, and community safe.
- Tracy Schwarzschild, Commodore
- Elizabeth Staas, Vice Commodore
- Joe Roos, Rear Commodore