Sessions now available to book from Thursday 28th – Sunday 31st May. Please read and follow the guidance, thank you
Click on the links below:
Step 1 – Guidelines for Observing COVID-19 Restrictions when visiting Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC)
In order to safely reopen the club grounds and slipways we have had to implement a booking system to limit the number of sailors at the club. We would ask that ALL members planning to visit the club, read these guidelines carefully before booking or arriving at BYC and check them before making future visits as they will be periodically updated with the latest information.
*Please note safety boat cover will not be available for these initial stages.
We will have sailing available for small groups in sessions, up to 12 can book per session, to be split between North & South parks and slipways. This is required in accordance with NI Executive guidelines. Sessions currently available to book on the following dates/times:
In addition we have allocated exclusive dates and times for members who would like to use the slipways for sea swimming, SUP and windsurfing. Again please follow the guidelines with regard to numbers gathered.
**Please ensure you adhere to the guidelines below at all times when visiting the club.
The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on the frontline services. We all have a role to play in adhering to the Government guidelines and therefore we ask you to observe the following:
- Are you fit to visit? Please do not attend BYC if you, or anyone in your household, are feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Book your visit: Please book your visit on the club website, completing one form for each visit you intend to make. The time you book is your time to arrive at the club and you must be away by your session end time.
- Before travelling: Please check the club website and Facebook for the latest information; if changes in Government guidelines require the Club to be closed again, this will be communicated by these methods. We will also send email notification of any changes.
YOUR VISIT – General Guidance
Be considerate of others. Be conservative in your activity.
- At all times please show consideration for others by respecting the social distancing requirement of 2 metres.
- Those coming to the Club may engage in single handed sailing or double handed sailing but only with members of your own household. Windsurfing, stand-up paddle board and sea swimming are also included. Members may also visit the boat parks to carry out maintenance work on their boats.
- Cadet sailing – as safety cover will not be available at this time we would recommend that Cadets give full consideration to their abilities and the conditions before considering to go afloat. For cadets under the age of 16 we require a parent or adult family member to remain within the vicinity of the club whilst the cadet is on the water.
- Please be aware of inherent risks and minimise contact with shared hard surfaces. Ensure hands are thoroughly washed and bring hand sanitiser for personal use. Hand sanitiser will also be available at clearly marked areas around the club.
- Please bring your own equipment when working on your boats and if you have to use club equipment for any reason, please bring cleaning products and cloths and clean any hard surfaces before and after use.
- If you suspect any equipment has been exposed to the virus, clean thoroughly and immediately advise the club office or duty executive officer on 028 9127 1467. This equipment must not be used for a period of 72 hours.
- Please note hoses will not be available.
- Members visiting BYC must not gather in groups of more than 6 (with social distancing maintained), unless it is with members of your own household.
- Signage: Please read and follow any signage on site. The dinghy park has been marked with rigging boxes and a one-way system to manage the flow of boats. Click to view.
- Restrictions are in place to ensure overcrowding does not take place, this will be managed via the booking system, please note that advance booking is in line with government guidance.
- The club house and changing rooms will remain closed, please arrive ready to sail and note toilet facilities will not be available.
- Please bring your own drinks with you, especially if the weather is warm and do not share water bottles or food.
- Please do not spend any longer on site than is necessary. Please give careful consideration to prevailing conditions and the condition of your equipment, when taking the decision to go afloat.
ON THE WATER
The following is guidance as we start on our return to water programme:
- If possible, arrange to go out with another similar boat and watch out for each other and for other boats afloat.
- Check the weather forecast, tide times and heights.
- Avoid sailing in a dying wind – you may have to paddle back.
- Double check your boat’s buoyancy, equipment, rigging and fixings.
- Dress appropriately for the conditions – it is easier to take off a layer than put it on.
- Ensure you are wearing a personal buoyancy aid or lifejacket when afloat.
- Consider wearing head protection.
- Carry a mobile phone in a waterproof bag/container or a VHF radio. Tell your contact ashore that you are going out on the water and when you should be expected back.
- Dinghies that cannot be self-propelled should carry a paddle for self-rescue.
- Make sure you have long painters, righting lines and masthead floats if necessary.
- Realistically (and honestly) assess your ability, your crew and your boat’s capability to sail in the conditions. Sail well within your comfort zone and don’t take unnecessary risks.
- Don’t go out or return to shore if you have any doubts!
- Have a plan B for the unexpected.
- If you capsize and are unable to right the boat, always remain with the boat. Never try to swim to shore.
- Contact someone ashore if you or another sailor get into difficulties. Provide them with information as to your status and location, and, if available an alternative means of contact.
- Be vigilant of your surroundings, particularly for other vessels/craft and obstacles.
- Don’t stay out alone after your sailing partner/s come in.