COMMODORE’S UPDATE – SPRING 2021
Hallelujah - it’s only a few short weeks until your Club reopens!
I hope that you are all emerging in good shape from what has seemed a long winter
and looking forward to a great summer. In anticipation of seeing you back at the Club
very soon, here’s a taster of what you can look forward to over the coming weeks
1. Key dates and restrictions
The key dates and restrictions dictating our reopening plans are:
• 12 th April - non-Welsh residents allowed to stay overnight in self-contained
• 26 th April - organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people permitted
- outdoor hospitality opens
• 17 th May - formal move from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3. Opening of
indoor hospitality will be considered after 17 th May with the intention of
opening before Whit Bank Holiday weekend.
• Meeting outdoors – currently limited to six people from a maximum of two
• Distancing – 2 metre rule applies
2. Reopening timetable
It’s been a long wait but hang on in there! Four barrels of Tim Taylor will soon
be on passage from Yorkshire before settling in the cellar in time for the
launch of outdoor service on Monday 26 th April from 4pm to 7pm. The same
hours will apply until Thursday, when the early May Bank Holiday weekend
will herald the return to normal opening hours.
As if there were need for any more reasons to head for the Club, the
oenophiles out there will appreciate the new Verre du Vin wine preservation
system, courtesy of our drinks supplier, Tanners. It preserves opened bottles
of wines and champagnes allowing a wider range of more interesting wines to
be served by the glass.
Mike and Conan have been preparing the launches since coming off furlough
after Easter and the launch service will resume on Saturday 24 th April to
enable members to bring their boats over in time for the Bank Holiday
weekend. Weather permitting, Mike hopes to have one of the launches in
during the week commencing 12 th April. At the time of writing, only two boats
are on the moorings but a service will be available once a launch is in and
should be arranged by contacting Mike directly.
Dave and Owen are preparing to launch the Cove’s takeaway service this
weekend – Friday 16 th April. See below for more details of Cove operations.
3. Covid Protocol – Club facilities
Outdoor socialising is restricted to groups of six people from a maximum of
two households. Once indoor hospitality is permitted, the existing Alert level
three rules dictate that socialising indoors will be restricted to groups of four
from a maximum of two households. Children under 11 are excluded from
these restrictions. Those of us who struggle to list six friends will be
unaffected, but it does mean that we will be subject to similar capacity
constraints as last season. The arrangements agreed with the Cove to cater
for non-members are explained below but, other than that, until there is any
significant relaxation of the restrictions on socialising and distancing, we will
continue with a members-only policy on the premises and in the launches to
ensure that the limited capacity is reserved for members. We cannot risk
members being excluded because the limited space is taken by non-members
– members must take priority.
4. Sailing programme
We now have a date – 26 th April – for organised outdoor activities, which will
allow racing to take place. The Sailing Committee will be meeting in the
coming days to discuss the sailing programme and fleet captains will keep
their fleets updated.
Readers of the yachting press will have read reports anticipating bumper UK
race fleets this summer. The press can be forgiven for its optimism in its
Anglo-centric bias, and it may well be the case in England if all restrictions are
lifted in June, but in Wales the situation is very different. The Alert levels
under which we are likely to be living for much of the summer restrict
organised outdoor activities to 30 people.
Dinghy Week-Lite – 24 th July
As advised in previous Updates, we had intended to open the proposed
slimmed-down Dinghy Week-Lite to entries at the end of March, dividing
racing into flights of 30 people on the “field of play” at any one time. Indeed,
Selina and Tony were on top of their brief and ready to do so, believing that
Gwynedd Council’s support for the event had been secured. On 26 th March,
Gwynedd advised the organisers of proposed events needing to use Council
controlled land that it had agreed a policy of referring decisions on whether
events can take place to local members and communities. We can think of no
practical alternative to using the slipway and beach, which are controlled by
the Council, to access the sea! RYA Wales is assisting and supporting us in
discussions with the relevant Gwynedd personnel and community
representatives in our efforts to secure Gwynedd’s agreement but the process
is likely to take weeks rather than days. The concerns that have been
expressed relate to the risks arising from crowding on the beach and
congestion on the slipway.
We are very grateful to Gerwyn Owen and Rosy Hearn from RYA Wales for
their assistance and support.
Squib Nationals – 11 th September
The Squib Nationals are scheduled from 11 th to 18 th September, an event that
we are extremely keen to host given the Club’s long association with, and
enthusiastic support for, the class. As things stand, organised outdoor
activities are limited to 30 people - i.e. 15 boats - and the restrictions on
socialising would prevent an organised social programme. This presents
obvious challenges but we live in hope that restrictions in Wales will be eased
in time for September.
6. The Cove Restaurant
Its popularity is testament to the tremendous reputation that the Cove
Restaurant has built up over the past couple of years. A successful restaurant
operation is key to the financial wellbeing of the Club, but the membership
alone is not a large enough customer base to support a viable long-term
stand-alone business over what is a relatively short season. We either
subsidise a private members’ restaurant from (increased) subscriptions, or
offer dining to non-members. Our mutual interests depend upon catering for
non-members, but we both understand that members should enjoy special
privileges as an important benefit of Club membership. We have discussed
how we can strike an acceptable balance between offering dining to the public
and preserving members’ exclusivity and have agreed what we think is a
sensible compromise that safeguards members’ interests.
We have agreed that the key holiday dates, when demand for tables is at its
highest, will be regarded as “Peak” periods, these being:
• All Bank Holiday weekends
• Start of Dinghy Week until August Bank Holiday Monday
During these periods:
• The premises will be closed to non-members until 18:00hrs
• 50% of Cove capacity for evening dining will be reserved for members and
guests until 48 hours before service starts. It is important to stress that this
does not mean that members are restricted to 50%, rather that 50% will be
reserved exclusively for members.
Pizza-led bar service
We have invested in a pizza oven with the intention of offering an early-
evening pizza-led bar service option to members and hope that this will be
particularly popular with those coming off the water and younger families with
children to feed. We also hope that it will prove to be a popular alternative
option to members when they may have made a late decision to eat but the
Cove is fully booked.
Last summer’s takeaway offering was a big hit and will be continued, the
menu augmented with pizzas from the new oven.
The takeaway service will be commencing imminently, but the roll-out of other
elements of the above will be dictated by the easing of Covid restrictions. We
will, inevitably, be adapting operations in accordance with the restrictions until
things return to normal. Dave and Owen will provide updates over the coming
7. AGM – 27 th May
None of us expected the Covid disruption to last for so long and as I have
explained in previous Updates we deferred general meetings in the
expectation that gatherings would be permitted indoors allowing us to hold a
normal meeting in the clubhouse. There is, however, no indication of when
larger gatherings will be permitted in Wales, and there is business that we
should to attend to, so we are planning to hold an online AGM on 27 th May.
The Notice and other material will be sent to you in due course but, before the
AGM, to help us with our planning, we will ask for an indication of how many
of you can face yet another Zoom meeting so that we have some idea of
numbers expected. We won’t be in the bar, but that doesn’t mean you can’t
make sure you have a large glass of something strong on hand to help you
make it through!
A big thanks to the great majority - your support for the Club over a difficult
year has been fantastic and ensured that it has remained in good shape
financially. To avoid any potentially embarrassing conversations, can I just
issue a gentle nudge to the small number who have not yet paid with a
reminder that membership is suspended automatically if subscriptions are
unpaid at the end of April, and terminates automatically 14 days after that.
As ever, I’m very happy to clarify, or provide further explanation of any of the above -
or, indeed any Club matter. Feel free to contact me through the office.
We’re all hugely excited about re-opening and looking forward to welcoming you
back to your Club. Roll on 26 th April, it’s going to be a cracking summer!