We've just heard the latest update from the Government around the various alert levels, with Northland due to drop to Alert Level 2 tomorrow night and Waikato and Auckland remaining where they are for the time being.
While it's great to see Northland dropping back a level, it's disappointing Auckland will remain in Alert Level 3, Step 1 for another two weeks.
We're optimistic some more restrictions will be eased after that period and should get a better idea on Friday of what that will look like, when hopefully it's also announced Waikato will drop back from their current level 3 settings.
It was great to see the number of people enjoying getting back out on the water over the weekend in Auckland - all within their bubbles, of course - and it's worth reminding people what the rules are when it comes to keelboating.
There are three main ones: recreation needs to be completed on the day (that means no overnight stays), those on board need to come from the same household bubble and there's no capacity for organised events at this level. We continue to work with Sport New Zealand to see if we can have these regulations relaxed at the next step.
One of the ways regulations will ease is when enough people are vaccinated and it's been really encouraging to see the steady climb in vaccinations. The sooner this number gets up, the sooner we can get back to enjoying the things we love to do.
A lot of people, as well as clubs, class associations and event organisers, have been doing it tough over the last couple of months and it's been really difficult to watch as the number of events being cancelled or postponed climbs. One of the latest was the PIC Coastal Classic and I know how much work people put into trying to make this happen.
We have also made the difficult decision to cancel this year's dinner for the Volvo Yachting Excellence Awards, which was due to be held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on November 12.
We think it's important to acknowledge all of our winners, from grassroots through to high performance, so will look to hold a virtual awards ceremony on November 12. We'll let you know how you can tune in closer to the time.
We've had a number of people ask us about what clubs can do under the present Alert Level 3, Step 1 rules in Auckland, particularly around coaching groups. You can find out more about it here but it's important to know professional coaching is possible, as long as certain rules are followed:
- It is done on an individual or small-group basis and physical distancing is maintained. The total number involved, including the coach, must be kept to a maximum of 10 people but can be from 10 different households
- Ensure coaches and sailors are properly briefed on all information regarding precautions for managing Covid-19 and keeping themselves safe
- Briefings/debriefings should be done online and avoid congregating before and after a session. Parents of children sailing should also avoid congregating to limit gathering sizes
- We encourage you to wear a face covering when you are not exercising
- You will not be able to use any indoor changing facilities
- It is up coaches to ensure sailors (over 12 years) sign in to ensure contact tracing
- Maintain physical-distancing practices
- Sailors and coaches stay within their own vessels
- Remain within your current abilities and don’t pick up new activities
The rest of the country remains at Alert Level 2 and clubs need to be mindful of what that means when it comes to hosting events. The maximum gathering allowed under level 2 is 100 people and that includes everyone from participants and parents to volunteers and race officers.
You can keep up to date with the latest guidelines and advice for clubs here.
Please let us know if there's anything we can help you with and please reach out to your local regional development manager if you have any questions. Hopefully we will have some good news to look forward to soon.
Yachting New Zealand chief executive