Summer 2020 Program Details
June 10, 2020
Pleon Sailors and Families,
I'm excited to share with you the details of the upcoming Pleon season. There is a lot of important information to cover, so please take the time to review in detail.
Before I start, I'd like to assure you that over these past few months the goal of the Pleon Board of Directors and Program Committee has been steadfast - we will provide as much access to sailing as possible while maintaining a safe and healthy environment. We believe that the plan detailed here does just that. We also realize that there are many different perspectives on what is safe and prudent. In developing this plan, we tried to make the decisions that appropriately weigh safety and access, and we did so with input from medical professionals.
With that, here's everything (or at least most) of what you need to know about the 2020 summer.
We are excited to welcome Kieran O'Connell to serve as Program Director for the upcoming summer. A Gloucester native, Kieran has run the junior programs at Eastern Point Yacht Club, Annisquam Yacht Club, and is currently the Sailing Director and Head Coach at Christchurch School in Virginia where they recently won the Interscholastic Team Racing National Championship. Kieran is excited to be coming to Pleon and we're thrilled to have him.
To combat the spread of COVID-19, Pleon has made numerous adjustments to our program and policies. For those familiar with our usual crowded clubhouse and full docks, you'll understand the need to make some changes, including a few related to our classes and schedule:
As noted in previous communications, Pleon's start date has been delayed from June 22 to June 29 to accommodate earlier state guidance and to allow sufficient time to prepare for a safe opening.
As noted in previous communications, Pleon will not be offering Intro to Pleon or Keelboat Classes for the season. For those registered for Keelboat classes, we want to call your attention to new Laser classes that we will be offering as an alternative way to get sailing this summer. More details are below in the Laser Sailing section.
To reduce crowding, we've had to reduce the number of times each class meets. You'll notice in the schedule below that classes that typically meet four times per week will now meet only three times per week and class days may have changed.
To reduce class sizes, our largest classes have been split into two groups. For example, Opti 1 is now Opti 1 - Red and Opti 1 - Blue. For those enrolled in those classes, you will receive an email noting your class assignment in the next couple of days.
To minimize the number of people arriving and departing simultaneously, we are staggering start times. Morning classes will start at either 9:00 or 9:30 and afternoon classes will start at either 1:00 or 1:30.
Every effort has been made to reduce variability in the schedule, but some scheduling challenges were inevitable. Please review the schedule below carefully.
2020 PROGRAM SCHEDULE - REVISED
Classes highlighted in yellow are new and will available for registration soon (see additional details below)
Health & Safety Policies
In addition to scheduling adjustments, Pleon is instituting a number of additional health & safety procedures, including:
Sailors and staff will be required to maintain a safe social distance while on the Pleon property.
Face coverings will be required at all times when on-shore; buffs and masks are both acceptable, but please avoid paper masks that could disintegrate with exposure to water.
All sailors and staff will be required to attest daily that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and/or have had no contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. We are working on ways to streamline this process and will share additional details at the Pleon Parent Night.
All class meetings will be conducted outdoors; the Clubhouse will only be used for backpack/bag storage and restrooms.
Hand-washing stations are being added and hand-sanitizer will be available; sailors will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival.
Every effort is being made to minimize sharing of club boats; in the event that sharing is required (likely only applicable to Lasers), boats will be shared with only one other sailor and washed between uses.
Every effort is being made to minimize coaches moving between classes; we intend to have consistent groups of sailors and instructors/coaches.
420 sailing is permitted, but only with a designated partner for the duration of the season - no skipper/crew swapping is permitted.
Most travel regattas that Pleon would travel to have been cancelled; any potential regattas will be evaluated on a one-off basis.
Policies to address symptomatic sailors and/or instructors have been developed in conjunction with local doctors and will be available on the website.
Designated medical professionals have agreed to be on-call to provide support if required.
In the event of inclement weather or no-wind, the Program Director will be encouraged to cancel classes up to 1hr before start time. If sailing doesn't look possible, Pleon will err on the side of cancelling classes. Cancellations will be made via email and/or text message; more details will be shared at the Pleon Parent Night.
A more detailed description of all our Health and Safety Policies is being sent to the Marblehead Board of Health and will be available on the Pleon website.
To accommodate those who have had classes cancelled or would prefer to sail a single-handed boat, we will be offering two Laser classes, each offered in Session 1 & Session 2. The Laser is an Olympic class boat, but various rig sizes allow the Laser to be sailed by a wide size- and age-range of sailors. It's a lifelong boat with an active racing fleet in Marblehead.
Laser 1 will be offered in the morning and is best for 12-14 year olds. Laser 2 will be offered in the afternoon and is best for 14-17 year olds. No Laser experience is required for either class. Priority will be given to those people in Keelboat classes that were cancelled.
If you would like a spot in either Laser 1 or Laser 2, please email email@example.com by Friday at 5pm. Registration will be opened up to everyone on Saturday morning. Cost is $1,000/session.
In the coming days, we will assess whether there is any additional availability in certain classes. If there is the ability to re-open any registration, we will communicate via email what spots are available and open registration on Saturday at 9am.
As we know, one of the most unique aspects of Pleon is the club culture that is built by the Commodore, Flag Officers and the amazing enthusiasm and Pleon Spirit in the membership. The physical manifestation of the Pleon Spirit is the club social events that the Officers put together. Unfortunately, many of these events - such as Wednesday Series Cookouts, Movie Nights, Great Day, Commodore's Ball, etc - will be hard to conduct while maintaining social distancing and relying only on outdoor spaces. In addition, the ability to come to Pleon simply to hang out during the day will be largely reduced. I have no doubt that Commodore Phil Jeffries will do everything in his power to maintain the Pleon Spirit this summer, but expect the club to feel different this summer.
Marblehead Junior Race Week
It is our hope to host Marblehead Junior Race Week in some, albeit significantly reduced, format. Depending on our ability to host MJRW and the status of the Marblehead NOOD, the schedule for the week of July 20-24 is subject to change.
Subject to Change
As with everything COVID-related, Pleon's operating plan is subject to change as the situation develops. If the situation continues to improve, we will consider increasing sailing opportunities throughout the summer as the regulatory environment allows.
I know this is a lot of information, but it is all necessary to enable us to run a fun and safe sailing program at Pleon this summer. So thank you for taking the time to get his far! I also want to thank you for your patience and understanding with the modified operating plan. It is obviously not ideal, but it's necessary to get Pleon sailors back on the water, and I think we could all use a little Pleon right now.
Please email Matt Hooks (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Kieran O'Connell (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
Sail Fast (and Safe!),
Chair, Pleon Program Committee