The following procedures may be varied from time to time. This is current as of  18 September 2020.


Whilst GWSC continues to make every effort to comply with both the letter and the spirit of government guidance, members and visitors must accept that they attend the site, and sail, at their own volition and risk. GWSC will not be liable for any illness or other impairment arising from Covid-19 infection. This is without prejudice to wider, non-Covid related liabilities to which the Club is normally subject.

General precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, other club members and the general public

Here are the links to the latest Government guidelines on social distancing and staying safe. Please take the time to ensure you are absolutely familiar with them before visiting the Club site.

If you are unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19 do not attend the Club.

If you have had contact with a family or household member who is unwell with the symptoms of Covid-19 do not attend the Club for a minimum of 14 days.

Please adhere to any specific guidance in your local area and do not travel to the club if this would be against the guidance.

  • Wash or sanitise your hands after touching common surfaces – and always after coughing, sneezing and before and after arriving and leaving the Club. Hand sanitiser is available at various points around the club.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and avoid touching your face, nose and eyes.
  • Keep your distance and avoid being face to face with people from outside your household.
  • Maintain the two metre rule and the limit on gatherings of up to 6 people
  • Do not share water bottles or food with people from outside your own household
  • Bring your own tools. Do not share anything.  You may wish to use personal disposable gloves.

You are advised to bring some disposable gloves with you and use them if touching common surfaces.  Also consider bringing a first aid kit with you so you can attend to minor cuts and injuries yourself.

Arrival and Parking:

Opening times are listed here

The barrier will be closed and if it fails to open phone 07950 590754 for assistance.

When you enter the site, there is a pole flying an orange flag that is 2 metres long, to indicate the necessary social distance.

The club is now required to keep a record of everyone who visits the site for Track and Trace purposes. Each time you visit the club, please scan the QR code displayed on posters around the site, using your phone’s camera (you may need to download a QR scanner app if your phone doesn’t already have one). This will take you to a website where you can enter your details. The information will be stored securely for 21 days and then destroyed. If you arrive with others, only one member of the group needs to do this. If you can’t scan the QR code, go to in your browser, or there is a paper signing in log at the entrance to the cafe.

We are fortunate to have a large site so parking even with the current restrictions should not be a problem.  But please make sure you park well apart from the next car, sufficient to ensure social distancing when getting in or getting out.  That may mean you need to park further away from your boat than normal.  If we have a lot of people on site it may also necessitate using the top (visitor) field. Please do not park in Shrimp Alley.

Rigging and access to the water: adhere to the social distancing principle of 2 metres separation.  If somebody in the adjacent berth is rigging their boat at the same time, come to an arrangement with them whereby you can both do this safely. At this time the Government guidance to be followed allows groups of up to six people, adhering to the 2 metre separation guideline.  Larger gatherings are not permitted and this must be observed in the boat park.

When launching be sure to adhere to the 2 metre separation guidelines. Remain away from the slipway until the person in front has returned their trolley to the grass area and is afloat. Do not stack trollies on top on each other. Windsurfers should be careful to maintain the 2 metre separation when using the steps.

As a guiding principle you should avoid touching other persons’ boats or trollies at any time.  If you have to do so, e.g. to help somebody launch where otherwise it would be impossible for them to do so, wash your hands (or gloves) immediately afterwards.  Please avoid queueing on slipways and please do not park trollies for others unless it is unavoidable. The water level is particularly high at present and there is no beach so launching may be more difficult than usual, particularly given the need to do so unassisted as far as is possible.

Procedure for Launching and Recovering Keelboats:

  • the Coxswain can provide launching assistance
  • when asking for help maintain 2 metre distancing
  • only the Coxswain will drive the tractor, to prevent the possibility of cross contamination from others getting in the cab. Sailors should hook the trailer onto the hitch themselves.
  • sailors will unhitch the trailer themselves
  • if assistance is required when coming back to the jetty , this should be worked out amongst the fleet

The Clubhouse is closed: access is limited to the toilets and hand-wash basins. There are no changing facilities or showers.The one-way system devised to maintain social distancing must be used. There will be signage at the toilets indicating the procedures to follow.  You should enter the toilets by the outside doors on the half landing facing the roundabout and leave by the fire-escape door in the changing room. Do not attempt to enter via the fire-escape or leave by the front door.

There will be no facility for changing on site.  You should arrive ready changed or change in your car.  You may want to invest in a dry robe or similar. Please do not use the toilets for changing or enter the areas of the changing room behind the barriers.

There is no access to the Coxswain’s shed or the other club buildings.


The Café is operating a take-away service with a one-way system. If entering the cafe please wear a face-covering.

Ordering: Menus are on display on the windows. To place an order enter through the door on the West side of the Clubhouse. There is hand sanitiser available by the door.

Only one person in the café ordering at any time. Place order at the servery – stand behind line on floor. Move forward to pay when asked – card payments only. 

Or you can text your order to Lisa on 07738 401190. 

Food Collection: Follow the one-way system to the collection point. Only one person in the café collecting food at any time. Collect your order from the table. Exit through the door on the East side of the Clubhouse. There is hand sanitiser available by the door.

Eating: Please move away from the vicinity of the Clubhouse. Respect the guidance on social distancing (2 metres) and the regulations on gatherings (no more than six). Rubbish – please place in the bins. 

There is also a limited amount of seating available inside, for those consuming food and drink from the cafe. Please sanitise your hands and sign in at the west entrance. Please only sit at a table with members of your own household. Order at the window as for takeaway, then sit down, your food will be brought to you. If eating at a table inside you do not need to wear a face-covering.

On Shore:

From Monday 14th September 2020 it is illegal to meet socially in groups of more than six people (the ‘Rule of Six’). This means that you must not interact with others in the club grounds in groups of more than six people. Follow this link for full details of the latest government guidance.

On the Water:

Single-handed sailing, or sailing in the same boat by persons living together in the same household or within the same support bubble, is permitted. 

Beyond that double handed sailing may be possible in accordance with the following: 

As a Club our policy is to follow Government and RYA guidance.  The Government has published revised guidance on social distancing to take effect from 4 July, recognising that 2m separation may be decreased to 1m in certain circumstances and where appropriate mitigating measures are adopted.  The RYA have issued a guidance note on double handed sailing.  In the light of these developments the Club’s revised policy is as follows: 

Double handed boats at Grafham come in many shapes and sizes and it is not appropriate for the Club to issue blanket guidance covering all.  Double handed sailing is clearly consistent with Government guidance for those living in the same household or within the same support bubble.  In other cases individuals will need to make their own judgements as to whether they can sail their boat in a way that is compliant with Government guidance.  Before making a decision to sail together we would expect individuals to have considered all the issues concerned, and be in a position to justify their actions if challenged.  The RYA issued detailed guidance on the possibilities for double-handed sailing on 29th July and this should be taken into account deciding on double-handed sailing.

In addition, where a particular class has issued guidance specific to that class, we would expect individuals to adhere to this guidance. 

Safety Cover: There will be a coxswain on site, but safety cover is extremely restricted. In the event of emergency, priority will be given to people over boats/equipment. Only go on the water if your sailing skills are of a standard commensurate with the red & white flag i.e. you are able to right your boat unaided and return to the shore under the prevailing weather conditions on the day. The flag system will operate more conservatively than in normal circumstances.  The red & yellow flag may be used  i.e. Lake open with restrictions, to limit the permitted sailing area.  Where this is used the restrictions will be posted at a number of points on the window of the café and on the website. Avoid crowding round the notices, always maintain 2 metres social distance. Consider using your own VHF radio to make contact with the Coxswain, on channel P4. This should be a VHF marine radio, with a handset attached if you prefer.

Safety is paramount: the flags displayed by the Coxswain must be observed.  RIB support is very limited so the sailing area may be restricted. The Coxswain is entitled to impose limits based upon people’s level of skill which will vary according to weather conditions; these limits will be applied more conservatively than usual.  It is suggested that boats (excluding keelboats) that normally are crewed by two, when sailed singleton use mast head floats.

Casual sailing:  Boats should maintain two metres distance on the water.  Be careful of people hiking or out on the wire especially when crossing tacks.

Racing: Racing is currently organised on Sundays and Sociable Saturday afternoons, with informal racing on Wednesday afternoons. All signing on is via WebCollect.

Open Meetings: Open Meetings with limitations on the numbers of visitors are now being arranged. Detailed guidance is issued to all competitors in advance and no on-site briefings or prize-givings are held. All entries must be made in advance (links are on the club website) and no entries will be accepted on the day. No physical copies of sailing instructions are provided and official noticeboards will only be available online. Avoid congregating in groups at all times.

Day Sailing: day sailing is now available for dinghies and windsurfers, but currently not for cruisers. You should book online via WebCollect.

Club Boats: Club boats (except catamarans) and windsurfers are now available for hire by members. Please contact the office on 07943 196522, it is essential that you book in advance. Stand Up Paddleboards are available for hire by members until 30th September. These can be booked online via WebCollect.

RIBs:  RIBs are currently only in use by the Coxswains and specific RIB drivers who have been given additional training.

Staff on site:

There will be a coxswain on site all the time the site is open, based in the coxswain’s shed. To talk to him, do not enter the shed and do not cross the 2 metre line marked at the shed entrance.

The Office is now open for enquiries from the stairwell. Please follow the one-way system and signs to ensure social distancing and wear a face-covering while inside the building.  The hours when the Office staff can be contacted are shown on the website. They can be contacted on 07943 196522. The Chandlery will not be open, however, you can place an order by emailing and collect/make payment (card or exact cash only) from the coxswain’s shed. Orders will be available for collection following the Thursday after ordering.

Strimmers: Strimmers are now available for members to borrow to strim their boat berths.  You should arrange with the coxswains and collect from the coxswain’s shed.  You will need to bring your own PPE (safety glasses, gloves and ear protectors) and will be responsible for sanitising the contact areas of the strimmer both before and after use.

For hygiene reasons tools other than strimmers may not be borrowed from the coxswains.  If you need anything, please bring it with you.

Risk Assessment: click to access the Club’s Covid-19 risk assessment.


Compliance with these Operating Procedures is a requirement of the Club Regulations.
In the unlikely event that there are observed misdemeanours, a member of staff or Club Officer may ask the person(s) concerned to desist.  If a further request is not complied with, the matter will be reported as a disciplinary matter and be dealt with in accordance with the Club Rules.