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Training Course update from RMSTA

Sailing courses at RMYS planned to commence from 4th July 2020

Alongside the Squadron, the Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy has been affected by Covid – 19. Critically Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron has suspended regular sailing and clubhouse operations. The Sailing Academy has also been closed with sail courses suspended. With no training income flowing, several our sailing instructors (including myself) have been supported by the Job Keeper program. The Squadron has also been generous and provided business support to the Academy through this time.

Interest in sailing remains. Whilst the phone and internet enquiries for learning to sail were few in late March, the last four weeks has seen sharp increase in the number of enquiries to the Sailing Academy about getting into sailing. The overwhelming desire from prospective sailors is to get outside and on the water. Personally, I think we may all be pleasantly surprised at the renewed interest people will show towards SAILING AS A LOCAL ADVENTURE SPORT, which may have been overlooked in recent years in favour of more extreme sports and focus on overseas travel. The opportunity of team – based adventure and competition offered by sailing and the community offered by our sailing club, will be important after the isolation of this pandemic.

The relaxation of Community Health restrictions announced by the Victorian Government on 12th May (and 23rd May 2020) has allowed some recreational boating (albeit with some limitations to recommence), but unfortunately does not allow for sail training. Australian Sailing (our training scheme organiser), has determined that sail training cannot yet recommence due to social distancing guidelines, the use of shared equipment and the lack of Club facilities such as changerooms which are required to remain closed at this time.

In the light of the Commonwealth Government’s 3 stage road map to recovery focusing on July, the Sailing Academy plans to offer some sailing courses from July 2020, subject to the direction of the Victorian Government, Australian Sailing and Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. Our very popular Keelboat “Start Crewing” weekend courses will be offered first, starting from Saturday 4 th July 2020, with other courses recommencing as restrictions are further eased. Bookings as an expression of interest are now open to the public and RMYS members & friends and can be DOWNLOADED HERE

How can you help the Sailing Academy and your Squadron? As a community entry point to RMYS and the sport of sailing, Royal Melbourne Sail Training Academy teaches over 1,400 people per year across all ages. We are the second largest sailing school in Victoria with over 95 % of our customers being non – members. These students could go on to be a member of the Squadron, as many do, or be part of sailing and boating for life. Youth sail training conducted by RMSTA through secondary schools and our free Joe White Bequest sailing program for local primary schools, also allows RMYS to deliver on its community obligations. I believe that the Squadron, like many community sporting clubs, will need time to rebuild including regular sailing and Club activities, along with replacing members and crew. Some may have left due to the restrictions, their health and/or financial hardship. The Sailing Academy stands by RMYS to fulfil its recruitment function and help the Squadron rebuild. We will need new crew faces, new boat owners and the enthusiasm they bring to keep the whole show going. What can you do? Talk to friends, family and work colleagues about learning to sail and send them to “YOUR” Sailing Academy at RMYS. We have the experience, structured training programs, instructor qualifications and customer friendly approach to ensure they’ll want to do more sailing after they complete our short courses.