We hope that you and your families safe and well during these strange and testing times. It has been over ten weeks since we temporarily closed our centres back in March, however today we are so pleased to be able to start talking about re-opening at the beginning of July.
In line with recent Government announcements, we’re working towards opening our centres at Rockley Point and Poole Park at the beginning of July. We are therefore now taking new bookings from 4th July. We are of course aware that this is conditional and subject to change.
We will not be able to operate at the levels we were before and as a result will not be offering our full range of courses that you have come to know and love. In fact we will be operating at about 30% capacity.
Our sales team has been working hard to provide flexibility to guests whose bookings have been cancelled. We’re very grateful for the patience and understanding everyone has shown as we’ve navigated this challenge.
Happy and healthy
But through it all, we’ve missed you. We’ve missed seeing many of you train and qualify to become Instructors and we've missed introducing so many young people to the joys of sailing. We’ve also missed seeing our full seasonal team in pre-season training and getting ready for a summer either in France or in Poole with us.
So once our teams were safe and our customers updated, our minds quickly turned to the future – and how we would get back to welcoming our wonderful customers again.
Health and safety is always our absolute priority. Over the coming months we will all adjust to new ways of doing things so that our customers, visitors and teams continue to have assurance of our full commitment in this regard.
However, there’s a balance to strike, and it’s important that we carry out our adjustments in a way that’s true to who we are and what we believe in. Now more than ever, people need the reassurance and confidence that we have all the appropriate measures in place, to enable you to enjoy being on the water with us at Rockley, be that on a paddle board, training to be an instructor or improving your sailing.
Our full plan of our new safe operating procedures will be published on our website before we open. In the meantime, for an overview, here is some headline information below.
Shaping the summer
We will be scheduling a full programme of RYA Dinghy Instructor, RYA Senior Instructor, RYA Windsurf Instructor and RYA Powerboat Instructor courses, together with all the necessary pre-requisites. So this is an excellent opportunity for you to upskill your watersports qualifications.
Beginner, Improver, Intermediate and Advanced Courses
To start with we will only be offering tuition in single handed boats, tuition will only be available for those over 10 years old. Initially we will not be offering beginner courses for our youngsters, we will however still be running non-residential improver, intermediate, advanced and multi-activity weeks. This will be reviewed on a regular basis and will be updated on our website and social media channels accordingly.
In terms of our residential offering, unfortunately this is still very much under review. For now, based on the information we have to date, it is our intention to only offer residential spaces to our RYA Instructor candidates, but we are waiting for confirmation of this facility being allowed by Government guidelines before we confirm a facility for residential support to any of our programmes. If and when this is possible, our plan is to provide this for the instructor training programmes in the first instance. This will initially be limited to twelve spaces, to enable each student to be in a room on their own.
Inevitably we will not be able to accommodate everyone this summer, due to the changes we are having to implement. If we are able to release more beds, then we will when it is possible.
Pay and Play
We will also be operating a hire facility from the beach at Rockley Point and also from Poole Park. For now, we will not offer holiday camps at Poole Park, but this will be reviewed in the coming weeks and will be updated on our website and on our social media channels.
French Family Holidays
We have also made the difficult decision that we will not open our Azurivage centre in France for our family holidays this summer. All our customers have been notified and once again, we have been overwhelmed with your kind words and comments.
Book with confidence
We also want to reassure you that if you do book with us this summer and the course is then subsequently not able to run, you will recieve a full refund. This summer we would like to offer a flexible booking system whereby you can simply pay a £50 deposit to secure your place on the course, and then not pay the full balance until one week before the course date. If you would then prefer not to take up the place, we will hold that deposit over to a later date or next year and maintain this year's prices
As you can appreciate there will be a lot of changes required and I want to give you our assurance that your safety and welfare is our absolute priority. We really appreciate your understanding at this time and look forward to welcoming you back to Rockley Watersports hopefully during 2020!
Take care, stay safe and see you soon.
Our Action Plan
1. Guidance and good practice
We’re following all Government guidelines and have been actively involved in scoping out industry best practice in partnership with the RYA, British Marine and other Industry specialists.
We'll share as much information as possible to provide assurance and transparency:-
- Our health and safety measures will be published on our website before we open
- We'll updateall our pre-arrival email communications to provide additional information relating to health and hygiene.
- New signage and focus points will be added across the centres to ensure all visitors are aware of processes, and to promote hygiene and social distancing
3. Our teams and partners
We’ll ensure that everyone involved in our business is fully aware of and committed to our ethos. This includes:
- Every team member will be trained in new health and hygiene related procedures and their responsibility to guests and colleagues.
- New HR policies and processes will be implemented, so we're prepared for our teams to return to work.
- We’ll take all reasonable steps to follow the government’s Covid-19 Secure Workplace Guidelines.
A new risk-based approach to cleaning will be implemented and all team members will be trained accordingly. Hand sanitiser will be available and visible at several points across the centre.
5. Social distancing
We will ensure that social distancing can be maintained, with teaching taking place outside where possible, changing rooms only used when absolutely necessary. We will encourage students to arrive changed.
We’ll follow the RYA guidelines and recommendations and only use craft where we can ensure social distancing guidance can be followed.
We will not be providing packed lunches; students will need to bring their own food and drinks as well as any required drinking bottles, cups and cutlery.
8. Our facilities
We have conducted detailed reviews across every area of our business:
- All rooms will have strict cleaning and hygiene measures in place
- We will have systems to manage the flow of people through the building when required to remove any pinch points from 2-way traffic
- Our equipment will be allocated to a student for the duaration of their visit and we will follow Governing Body recommended cleaning and period between uses
See our courses on offer