With the spring racing schedule wiped out on San Francisco Bay, a few folks have sought alternatives with some informal, local competition. This has, once again, raised the question of what’s allowed and/or what’s a responsible way to be recreating on the Bay during the pandemic. With the knowledge that this question is being debated by yacht clubs around the Bay, we reached out to Laura Muñoz, executive director of the Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay. Coincidentally, she’d just finished a conference call the night before with race directors from 17 Bay Area yacht clubs. She was in the midst of crafting an email that went out today to the YRA membership.
We pass along the message from the YRA here:
“We’re all missing racing — the thrill of competition, the camaraderie with our crew, the fresh salt air, and the sheer joy of being outside doing something we love, especially as this fabulous spring weather arrives. The YRA has been working behind the scenes with Bay Area yacht clubs and the Coast Guard to ensure that racing can resume as soon as possible, and as safely as possible, once USCG permits are active again. We’ve kept communications open with the Coast Guard and are working with Bay Area race organizers to develop guidelines that will ensure the intent of state and county health orders are followed, and that racers and race committees stay safe, while running organized races. Once the current SIP orders are lifted, we will be ahead of the game and ready to get some form of racing started again.
“We know that some unofficial races have been proposed and want to just put out a quick reminder that any marine event with 10 or more participants should have a USCG permit. We are working diligently on a coordinated plan that will get everyone out racing as soon as possible and unpermitted events may be counterproductive to our efforts.
“It’s a lovely time of year to go sailing, and getting outside for some activity is never a bad thing. When you head out sailing, be sure you are practicing social distancing protocols, staying safe, and keeping the intent of the current SIP orders in mind.”
In related news, Cal Maritime Academy intends to reopen in-person classes in late May and plans to send 350 cadets out on their usual summer training cruise. Read more here.
Washington state has decided to ease up on restrictions and allow recreational boating. More information here.