All COVID-19 Updates

0800hrs FRIDAY 31 JULY

As mentioned in the update of 30 July, the Board met last night in a Zoom meeting to discuss the week’s events and the next steps for our Club.

From the outset, we recognised and thanked the great work of the CYCA Team in applying our COVIDSafe plan so well. NSW Health has been highly complimentary of the way in which the Club had conducted its business since reopening and how this had made their investigations so much easier. We also recognised and thank Members for their almost universal support for the Club’s quick actions in seeking to bring the issue under control.

Importantly, it should be noted that the Board acted faster and more conservatively than strictly necessary in closing the Club, testing all of our CYCA Staff and Directors and undertaking a three-day deep clean. This prudence has since stood us in good stead and with all Directors and Staff returning clean tests (a few staff results awaited), as a Board we are as comfortable as we can be as to the appropriateness of the actions taken.

But we now have to decide how and when we should reopen the Club – based not just upon the medical advice of NSW Health but recognising our duty of care to the community, the expectations of our Members and our influential position in the sport.

As such the Board has decided, all things being equal, as follows:

  • The Clubhouse will remain closed until Monday 10 August;
  • The Winter Series race this Sunday 2 August is cancelled and the next race will therefore be Sunday 9 August;
  • The offices will remain closed until Monday 10 August, however many Staff will be working from home and still contactable. Please feel free to call (02) 8292 7800 for assistance;
  • Sailing Office Staff will be in on Sunday 9 August to administer that race; and
  • The Marina, car parks and tender service will remain open throughout.

In reaching this decision the Board identified the desirability of a 14-day window, a common guideline, before Members and guests re-enter the Club and mingle socially. It also recognised however, that the COVID-19 infections we experienced had nothing to do with sailing activity and with our “stow & go” policy in place, after an appropriate one-week hiatus, we hope to continue with the Winter Series.

The above dates are of course subject to no further infections arising that are linked to the Club or any tightening of permissible operations by NSW Government.

Blue water races

The increasing closures to the Queensland border and their impact on the postponed Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race was discussed. The Sailing Committee will keep a watching brief on the situation and, if necessary, will formally revisit our plans for the race, in conjunction with our sponsor Noakes and finishing partner Southport Yacht Club, in mid-August.

There is no impact on plans for other Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore races, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, from current events.

I hope this clarifies our thinking as your Board and Members appreciate the difficulty of the decisions with which we are faced.

As ever, please stay safe.


1400hrs THURSDAY 30 JULY

As you will be aware, two of our Members have tested positive to SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) and NSW Health has now provided updated advice to the CYCA which we have been asked to share.

The dates of concern when these Members attended the Club are:

  • Thursday 23 July 2020 between 18:00-19:00; and
  • Sunday 26 July 2020 between 15:30–16:45.

NSW Health advises it has completed its investigation and has been in contact with all those Members and guests considered close contacts and therefore required to isolate.

For all other Members and guests who have not been contacted by NSW Health and who attended the Club within the dates and times above, you are considered casual contacts. Further information regarding casual contact status can be found on the NSW Health Casual Contact Fact Sheet – click here to read. Importantly, casual contacts are NOT required to self-isolate in their homes UNLESS they develop symptoms.

Members and guests are advised to continue to adhere to current Government recommendations around physical distancing and good hand hygiene and to watch for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Signs and symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • chills, body aches, sore throat, headache and runny nose

If symptoms develop, isolate and get tested. Testing clinics are located around the state including Rushcutters Bay. Click here to view a list of clinics in NSW.

The Board is meeting this evening with regards to the Clubhouse reopening, and this weekend’s racing, and we will provide an update on this tomorrow via the Sked.

As ever, please stay safe.



Last night NSW Health issued a notice relating to the Potts Point COVID-19 outbreak which includes the Club. Click here to view the notice.

The notice mentions certain times where attendees of the CYCA need to be especially cautious and if they show symptoms, seek testing.

This is exactly the same as the CYCA advice in terms of actions however, our advice is broader than that and relates to any person who has attended the Club and has symptoms. This is simply because until we have the results of the testing of all of our people and NSW Health have completed their investigation, we do not know if there is any transmission in the Club.

I would feel terrible if a person developed symptoms but because they hadn’t been at the Club at the NSW Health stated times, dismissed them and didn’t get tested.

As sailors, we are used to taking extra precautions to protect ourselves and our crewmates while at sea – this is what we are doing on land here at the Club. Our case officer at NSW Health agrees with our cautious approach.

Once we are more confident of the position, further advice will be issued.

As ever, please stay safe.


1730hrs TUESDAY 28 JULY

As you will be aware, today the Club was required to implement its full COVIDSafe response plan and so I wanted to share with you the background to this and share with you what we have been advised by NSW Health should happen next.

At 9.30am today I received a call from Vice Commodore Noel Cornish to advise that he and his partner Meg had just received advice that they had tested positive to COVID-19. They had sought testing after the NSW Government advised, on the evening of 26 July, that people who had attended the Thai Rock restaurant in Potts Point between 15 and 25 July seek testing. Noel and Meg had eaten there on 17 July 2020 and, while not directly contacted by NSW Government, went straight off for testing.

As many of you know, Noel and Meg are popular Members and frequent visitors to our Club and their prudence in quickly seeking testing was justified when the positive result was received.

We then acted as follows:

  • I advised the Board of the conversation and decided to close the Club immediately for deep cleaning;
  • CEO Justine Kirkjian and I also decided that we should have all of our team (Directors and Staff) tested – that has now largely taken place;
  • The team will be self-isolating until the results of that testing is known in 48-72 hours;
  • We issued a statement to Members setting out what we knew at that time; and
  • We sought direction from NSW Health on what to do next.

Of course, this has led to many Members, guests and the media seeking comment but we have held off providing further clarification until the advice from NSW Health was clear – we wanted to make sure the advice we gave was full, appropriate and relevant.

As such I can now advise that NSW Health have informed us this afternoon that we should advise Members that:

  • The CYCA is currently working with NSW Health to investigate the case;
  • Members and guests should continue to maintain vigilance with COVID-19 safe practices such as social distancing, good hand hygiene and to monitor for symptoms;
  • If an individual displays symptoms, they should have a COVID-19 test; and
  • NSW Health will be in contact with any Members or guests if required.

We will be following this advice to the letter.

The good news is that Noel and Meg are fine but, of course, will be housebound for at least 14 days or until they are cleared.

The Club will remain closed until Saturday 1 August at the earliest and, subject to the advice of NSW Health, assuming there are no other infections, the Club may well then reopen – we are not the first venue to have this type of brush with the virus and we will not be the last.

What has really stood us in good stead is the stringent application of our COVIDSafe plan since we reopened – we have excellent records, intensive cleaning and have avoided too many people gathering inside and outside of the Club – thank you.

As ever, please stay safe.


1155hrs TUESDAY 28 JULY

On Tuesday 28 July the CYCA was advised an active Member of the Club and their partner had tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this news, the CYCA has closed its Clubhouse until further notice, for deep cleaning and for the testing of staff – with the health and safety of Members, guests, staff and the community the CYCA’s number one priority.

The Club, as part of its COVIDSafe plan, is working with NSW Health on next steps.

The Club has been operating under a strict COVIDSafe plan, including mandatory sign-in for all patrons and intensive cleaning practices. The CYCA’s top priority remains the health and safety of our Members, guests, staff and the community at large.

The Club will continue to keep its Members, guests, staff and the wider community updated.

As ever, please stay safe.

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