16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106   Tel: 61 2 9998 3700


16 Mitala Street, Newport NSW 2106
Tel: 61 2 9998 3700


Relaxation of Restriction - Sailing

What do easing COVID-19 restrictions mean in my state or territory?


This week has seen most states and territories announce relaxations to their COVID-19 restrictions, which have had an immediate impact on how or if we can go sailing.

Australian Sailing has been working with state government agencies to clarify what the restrictions at various levels mean for sailing in each jurisdiction, including what activities are permitted and how this impacts clubs.

We have made submissions based on the SportAUS Rebooting Sport framework, providing our interpretations of their basic definitions and expanding these to capture the breadth and depth of our sport.

We have also sought clarification and/or exemptions for some sailing specific activities that relate to the 1.5m distancing and four square meter rules.

We believe sailing is a relatively low risk activity and have supported our case with risk mitigation strategies. Australian Sailing will soon publish further information to assist clubs with their “Return to sport” risk mitigation strategies. 

We have been able to publish the most up-to-date information on what the relaxation of the restrictions mean in each jurisdiction, answering such questions as "What does this now mean for sailing?" and "What organised activity is currently permitted in my state or territory?"


NSW May Update - Relaxation of Restrictions


Australian Sailing has received updated guidance regarding the impact of easing restrictions on sailing in New South Wales.

The NSW Government announced that it has eased the following restrictions on Friday 15 May 2020, including: 

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people
  • Cafes and restaurants can seat 10 patrons at any one time
  • Up to 5 visitors to a household at any one time
  • Weddings up to 10 guests
  • Indoor funerals up to 20 mourners, outdoor funerals up to 30
  • Religious gatherings/places of worship up to 10 worshippers
  • Use of outdoor equipment with caution
  • Outdoor pools open with restrictions.

The NSW Office of Sport has been working closely with government agencies to provide guidelines and principles for sporting organisations to recommence activity in a safe manner, in adherence with the revised Public Health Orders.

The NSW Government notes that National Cabinet endorsed the Framework for Rebooting Sport in a COVID-19 Environment developed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) on Friday 1 May 2020.

Now that the nature of these eased restrictions commencing on Friday 15 May 2020 are known, the Office of Sport is finalising this work as a matter of priority and we hope to have further update out to clubs and members over the next couple days.

What does this now mean for our sailing clubs?

  • Recreational sailing continues to remain a permitted activity;
    • Access to marinas is permitted
    • Access to fuel sales is permitted
  • Organised community sport is currently still prohibited, so club organised events and training can’t take place at this stage.

What vessels can we sail? - Recreationally

  • Yachts Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Dinghies (single handed) Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Dinghies (double Handed) No.  These boats are unable to comply with the 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m requirements
  • Windsurfing Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Kiteboarding Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.
  • Powerboats Yes, provided you maintain a maximum of 1 person per 4m2 and social distancing of 1.5m and hygiene requirements are maintained. Maintain only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people.

How many people can I have on board?

You must observe the not more than 1 person per 4m2 and maximum ten-person rule for outdoor gathers, be satisfied you have observed appropriate social distancing requirements and equipment is not shared.

Can clubs deliver racing and organised club events, i.e. Sport?

No, further updates are required from NSW Office of Sport. Australian Sailing are expecting these updates over the weekend.

Can clubs deliver face to face courses?

As the rules on gatherings and use of shared equipment remain in place, courses and programs are not permitted due to the practicable nature of delivering these courses whilst observing social distancing and use of shared equipment. This includes, but is not limited to;

  • Accredited Australian Sailing programs, including all activities within the Dinghy, Tackers, Keelboat, Powerboat and Windsurfing programs
  • Discover Sailing Days
  • Club organised learn to sail, windsurf or powerboat courses (non-Australian Sailing accredited courses)
  • Instructor and officials courses.

Is coaching permitted?

Yes, provided you remain within your regional boundaries; social distancing and hygiene is maintained; the ten-person rule is observed (including coach), and equipment, including coach boats, are not shared.

Further guidance for Sport

The return to ‘normal’ club activities and the re-start of sport nationally is under consideration.

Australian Sailing continues to work with NSW Office of Sport, the Federal Minister for Sport, Maritime, and NSW Health, as well as attending all relevant briefings from Federal and State departments. We expect further guidance to be released over the next few weeks and we will inform the sailing community of the impacts of any decisions and return to play measures.

If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Manager Carl Webster on 0415 707 305 or email carl.webster@sailing.org.au.

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The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - RPAYC is a yacht racing and sailing club based on Pittwater.

The yacht club offers year round inshore and offshore racing, cruising, centreboard dinghy racing, sail training and courses plus has a large marina accommodating up to 352 vessels.

There is also a modern boatyard with comprehensive marine services to help maintain your vessel.

Membership, including family membership is now available.

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