The lessening of COVID-19 restrictions has worked out fairly well for the sailing and boating community in Atlantic Canada.
“So far, so good when it comes to sailing here in Nova Scotia,” said Frank Denis, executive director of Sail Nova Scotia. “We’re hopeful we’ll be able to get through the summer before the second wave hits. I know the sailing programs for kids have been so important to the participants and also their families.”
Many clubs around the province have been able to offer learn to sail programs this summer, including the Bedford Basin Yacht Club. Head instructor Alexa Dalzell said the club has been able to offer all but two programs this summer.
“It’s been great,” she said. “We’re having an amazing summer here. The kids are having fun. No one is super bummed out about racing this summer. The kids can just take advantage of the coaching, are learning lots and getting ready for next summer.”
Dalzell said while it was a struggle and chaos dealing with registration this year with all the changes, “it was super nice to have all the parents understanding the circumstances and restrictions we were dealing with,” adding it’s not too hard getting the groups to socially distance.
Going into the summer, Dalzell said she stayed “super optimistic there would be sailing and here we are totally kicking it.”
In New Brunswick, all the yacht clubs have opened, said Sharon Mills, executive director of Sail New Brunswick, although the Shediac Bay opening was delayed until the new docks were installed to replace the damage from last year’s hurricane. The Point du Chene club also opened a bit late.
Mills said the only sailing school running is at the Royal Kennebeccsis Yacht Club.
“All junior regattas are postponed as well as the Canada Games trials,” she said. “They will be held in 2021 before the games in August.”
On Prince Edward Island, all junior and adult training has proceeded with protocols in place, said Ellen MacPhail, executive director of Sail P.E.I.
The 35th annual East Coast Docks 2020 Charlottetown Race Week is a go for Aug. 13 to 15 at the Charlottetown Yacht Club. The regatta will be complemented with shore activities and entertainment for competitors, spectators and families, with appropriate COVID-19 safety measures. Boats from home and away are being welcomed for the premiere summer event.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, boats are out on the water as well. Local yacht clubs are open to members, but have the similar COVID-19 safety restrictions as their counterparts in the Maritimes.