I hope this message finds you healthy and safe. These are extremely challenging times, as we adjust to the restrictions that we all must follow due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The necessary disruptions to our lives that derive from physical distancing and the elimination of gatherings directly impact many of the activities we enjoy. That impact will be felt by WSC members and the broader sailing community as we consider the upcoming sailing season.
The WSC Executive is committed to protecting the health of our members and the public by strictly adhering to the restrictions outlined by Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta. As a result, the WSC clubhouse, grounds and all facilities will be closed until further notice. Club facilities will be locked, the main driveway will be chained, and the water will remain turned off. The boat launches and docks will not be put in place until such time as the club has permission to resume operations. Any sailing, social, overnight camping or other non-essential activities are prohibited. Access will only be permitted for essential maintenance of or on the property, and appropriate social distancing when undertaking these activities is mandatory. Please respect all restrictions, which will be outlined on signage at the club.
We are optimistic that sailing activities will be possible in this season, with government projections indicating that a relaxing of social distancing restrictions may occur this summer. Additionally, Sail Canada is forming a Medical Committee that will advise clubs on how to resume sailing activities safely. As more information becomes available, the WSC Executive will communicate our plans to open access to club facilities. That may involve partial access to facilities in the first instance, and a gradual build up of sailing activities to ensure that all health requirements continue to be met.
The finances of WSC are largely reliant on membership dues and fees. Given that a partial season seems likely, we are asking members to pay reduced fees for the upcoming season. Membership fees and RV stall fees will be reduced by 50%. Fees for boat stalls and lockers that are in use will continue to be levied at regular cost. In order to support the financial well-being of our Club, we are asking members to pay these reduced fees by May 15, 2020. Should the sailing season be curtailed longer than expected or cancelled outright, the Executive will review measures related to fees and communicate how the club will provide appropriate compensation.
The details for membership fee payment will be available on the WSC website as in past seasons. We recognize that some members may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, and will offer payment deferrals in such cases. If you have questions about membership fees or would like to arrange for a fee deferral, please contact Judy Townsend (our Membership Chair) at membership@wabamunsailingclub.
We appreciate the dedication of WSC members to the best interests of our Club and our sport by continuing to respect health restrictions. The WSC Executive would welcome any feedback you can provide. The email contact for each Executive member is available on the WSC website. I would be happy to hear from you at commodore@wabamunsailingclub.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the implications of these extraordinary times. We hope to see you all out at the Club and back on the water at some point this summer.
In the meantime, please take care of one another and stay healthy!
Jim Bohun, Commodore