OAKCLIFF MARINE RE-LAUNCH PLAN
Oakcliff Sailing went into a Covid-19 quarantined bubble early and aggressively, and plans to reemerge safely and slowly. Oakcliff had the luxury of having a strong team in place which not only works together but also lives together in an on-site bunkhouse. The organization has been able to stay productive and leverage their unique situation and the time in isolation to create an Oakcliff re-entry plan. As a public non-profit that is Building American Leaders Through Sailing, Oakcliff is happy to share the attached plan for leaders across our country to use and adapt. Everyone at Oakcliff hopes to provide the safest and best plan to allow our fellow Americans to once again enjoy the freedom and peace associated with gentle breezes and warm sunsets.
In brief this plan includes, requiring masks as a part or the safety protocol much as life jackets are required and at the same time, developing masks that perform in athletic situations. Adding more stringent but also environmentally friendly cleaning protocols to our normal maintenance. Ensuring that individuals and teams who are added to the Oakcliff Quarantined Bubble are informed and committed to the safe environment as much as each one of us is. And finally, to have all crisis management protocols in place.
Oakcliff Sailing identified the approaching risk early and chose to treat it as if we were preparing for a long leg in an offshore sailing race where planning and preparation is critical. We already live at work so working from home was relatively easy. Our facilities consist of an office, workshop, bunkhouse, sail loft, classrooms, storage yard and a high-performance beach all in Oyster Bay, New York.
On March 5th we created ‘the team bubble’ and started a social distancing and sanitization protocol including:
- A cleaning plan as economical and environmentally friendly as possible.
- Inventoried all cleaning product on site and establishing a rationing system
- Made a bleach and water solution, used with rags that were then washed and dried on the ‘sanitize’ settings. We believe this to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than many other products and wipes
- First we cleaned and then we sanitized – everything
- All personal laundry and bedding was to be washed and dried on the hottest setting possible but preferably ‘sanitize’
- Travel and errands curtailed
- If an individual ventured outside of the ‘bubble’ they brought sanitization solution, wipes or hand sanitizer with them. They wiped down their hands, the keys, door handles, steering wheel etc. as they re-entered the car. Once they returned to the bubble they went directly to the sink and washed with hot soapy water for 20 seconds minimum.
- All visitors were required to stay 6’ away from any team members.
- This was in place during our last on-site workshop on March 10th.
On March 10th we locked down the bubble with these additional protocols:
- All training and workshops were quickly moved to on-line and virtual
- Masks were required when venturing outside of the bubble
- Note: we decided against gloves in favor of the above hand sanitization protocol as they just add plastic to the universe and as our Spanish team member commented – You don’t catch this through your fingers so wearing gloves is “just like wearing a second set of hands”.
- One person was designated every two weeks to shop for all 11 people living and working on site.
- All items including food, mail or packages were:
- Left outside in the sunshine for 24 hours or:
- Packages opened, contents dumped in a clean area and outer packaging discarded. Hands washed after with soap and hot water or:
- Items washed with soap and water and after, all surfaces and hands washed with soap and hot water or:
- Items sprayed and sanitized and after hands washed with soap and hot water.
- Take-out orders were minimized and required to be contactless
- Additionally, a daily roster of re-sanitizing of all inside “touch areas”; door handles, light switches, toilet handles, faucets and surfaces was enacted
- Personal contact outside of the bubble prohibited. At this point the one person who lived offsite with a partner was directed to work from home.
Oakcliff’s Re-entry will be slow and safe:
The key component is trust and team responsibility. Just like in an offshore race you are literally responsible for the lives of yourself first and your teammates secondly. The skipper is ultimately responsible for the overall well-being of the boat and the crew or in land terms – the company and the people. We also note that this pandemic has changed all of the rules so we have chosen to pivot and use this as permission to create a new set of rules.
- The virus will remain a threat for the full calendar year
- Social distancing should continue as much as possible for all ‘non-bubbled’ individuals
- A phased re-entry to our boats is required
- A strict sanitization protocol is required for the entirety of this season
- To remain intact for the entirety of this season
- All equipment will be sanitized with bleach and water before each use
- “Buckets” with winch handles etc. will be left on board the boats and be included in the on-board sanitization procedures
- Each boat will also be equipped with a lanyard on the bucket, soap and a scrub brush in addition to the sponge already on board as well as 3 gallons of fresh water in a jug.
- The exception is Oakcliff VHFs which will be brought onshore, left in the bucket outside of the office to be sanitized by the regatta director and charged.
- Teams will take their personal gear, their own VHF and a blue jug of fresh water onto the boat.
- After each use the teams on board will wash the boats with soap and salt water and rinse with fresh water. Oakcliff staff will rinse with fresh water and bleach as needed.
- There will be a ’24 hour pause’ between use of any boats with different groups
- Record keeping must be meticulous
- A rotation may be required not using all of the boats on each day
Social distancing Protocol
- To remain intact for the entirety of this season
- Temperatures will be taken of all participants using a non-contact device
- Oximeter will be on site for testing as well
- Masks will be required just as Personal Flotation Devices are required when social distancing is unlikely such as onboard boats.
- This will be included in the Sailing Instructions to ensure it is fair to all competitors
- Note Oakcliff is testing various masks for athletic performance and may have a list of recommended models including ‘double buffs’
- It is critical that masks become ‘second nature’ to minimize accidental removal
- The best mask is the one that is implemented
- See website for reviews and test results
- Launch service will be provided by the 40’ protectors with non-bubbled members to stay forward of the blue line at all times.
- Coaching safety:
- Coaches will not be on-board as done normally on larger boats but will be from support boats 6’ away
- VHF radios will be used to communicate
- Note: VHFs should be waterproof, securely attached and incase that fails, should float.
- VHFs will be sanitized when coming ashore
- Change the rules of competition:
- New big boat zone rules may be added to the racing rules via the official Sailing Instructions
- Physical demarcations of where a crew member must sit. Eg. Bowperson always required to stay in front of the mast, trimmers in their zone.
- Race Committee and support boats will be run with skeleton crews or solo if possible
- Oakcliff’s 40’ protector launches will be used with all transported to stay in the front 20’ of the boat as demarcated by a blue line.
Phase One: Just Sailing
Goal: End of May – TBC – subject to law
- Family Bubbles or Quaranteams will be phased in first.
- Until the state mandated restriction of no gathering of more than 5 people is lifted and Oakcliff determines that it is safe, crews will be limited to a maximum of 5 people.
- Quaranteam is a group of individuals who can provide assurance to each other and to Oakcliff that they are healthy.
- The Oakcliff Affidavit documenting how each team member is healthy will be provided to all participants essentially outlining how:
- They have been keeping their family or bubble (#quaranteam) quarantined for at least 14 days or:
- They can provide tests showing that they have had Covid-19 and have recovered and are thus immune assuming this is the current best medical knowledge
- NOTE – and stating the obvious, testing and tracking is key to all of this inside and outside of our industry
- Exceptions to the above policy can be made as an appeal in writing on the Affidavit at the sole judgement of the Oakcliff Staff but in no way does this transfer responsibility from the participant to Oakcliff or any of its staff.
- Note the affidavit is a tool for teams to discuss how they have been safe but it is also required for any person who intends to interact with Oakcliff staff by entering properties, launch service, etc. – Copies can be requested from email@example.com
- Boats to be used: Match 40s, High Performance, Classics with small crews TBC
- Sanitization and Social Distancing Protocol in full force on the water and on land
- No Social Events – organized or casual
- All debriefs will be done digitally
Phase Two: Competition with no Housing:
Goal: June 4 2020 – TBC
- All must sign the Oakcliff Affidavit and follow the rules as above
- Sanitization and Social Distancing Protocol in full force
- Skippers meetings and debriefs will be held electronically
- Social events may be allowed on board individual boats but without mixing of teams
Phase Three: Competition including Housing:
Goal: July 1st
- All of the above protocols plus:
- Teams will be encouraged to obtain their own housing
- Teams staying on site will be restricted to their own room in the bunkhouse and their own shower.
- Interaction in any common space will require a mask and 6 feet of social distancing
- Use of the cooking facilities will be restricted to in-house residents only, not temporary residents/competitors
- Social events (if any) on land
- Will only happen when it is abundantly clear it is safe and legal to hold and will be for competitors only
- Shore masks will still be required
- Reusable straws will be required/provided for any drink consumption while wearing a mask
- Glasses will be either be glass which will be washed on sanitization before and after use or be compostable but each person will be issued only one for the duration of the event to minimize waste and any transfer
- Set up will enable maximum social distancing with tables outside and separated by 6-10 feet
- Multiple hand washing stations set up
- Food serving to minimize any chance of touch contamination
- Cook your own on an outdoor BBQ
- Family Style per bubble
- Take out but that seems to be not great
Training Program Reentry:
Goal – ASAP – perhaps as early as June 1 but with extremely strict entry into the bubble
- Olympic Sailors coming in after 14 days documented quarantine – possibly in a Quarantine house in Oyster Bay
- Acorns/Saplings/ODP 14-day self-quarantine and driven to Oakcliff or self-quarantine for that period on site after flying in. (note – will adjust down if science allows)
- All who are entering as trainees will participate in a daily zoom call with the training program director to check in, learn and begin to build trust and team think about keeping each other safe.
- Follow all rules as posted, communicated in person or email at all times but specifically to maintain the Oakcliff Quaranteam Bubble.
General Public Considerations for Covid-19 Boating Safety:
In response to general concerns regarding increased boating putting undue stress on first responders below are some additional rules that may be enacted along with all of the normal safety rules and requirements:
Food and Drink:
- Always in moderation
- Drink containers recycled immediately in an onboard container or bag, as to not litter or cross-contaminate
- Dishes and drinkware cleaned with soap and hot water between use
- Ideally an on-site commercial dishwasher
- Individual supplies and food brought by individual people and taken offsite
- Reusable Straws to allow for enjoyment while wearing a mask / buff
- Note: Oakcliff is designing, producing and selling Party Packs: Mask allowing for a metal straw so drinks can be enjoyed while safety is ensured.
Rescue situations Minimization:
- Restrict human-powered vessels, eg: paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing to remain within 300 feet of shore
- Requiring life jackets to be worn at all times in all situations for the calendar year of 2020 in part reducing the urgency of a rescue situation allowing for coaches to ‘suit up’ before having to jump into action.
- Have PPP Rescue Packs prepared and available on coach boats etc: Including
- Face Shield, spare clear safety glasses, N95 Mask, Large foul weather jacket that can be put on over all other gear and can be sanitized after.
- Restrict all vessels under power to be traveling less than 10knots – except when responding to aid another vessel in an emergency
- In addition to all USCG required safety equipment: Require all boats – of all kinds (human, sail or motor powered) to have a working VHF and if possible a waterproof phone in a waterproof case even if that is a zip-lock bag
Note that just because you may be out of sight of ‘prying eyes’ safety is priority one. A very small number of individuals making poor decisions can ruin, perhaps irreparably for everyone.
Junior and Community Sailing Considerations:
The biggest need is to think outside of the box. This actually may be an opportunity to improve the product and programming. At the very least it is an opportunity to mix it up a bit
- Use a similar sanitization protocol to Oakcliff’s adapted to the individual site
- Specifically, the boat rotation – 12 boats use them every other day so only 6 per session
- Change the programming to allow for cross-age sailing teams
- Flying Scotts, Sonars etc. for full family or multiple children in the same bubble
- Double handed boats for siblings / #quaranteam bubbles – eg cousins or neighbors who have been quarantined equally and keeping the onus on the families to self-identify as safe
- Optis are naturally social distanced
- More patience will be required to help younger sailors sail
- Less emphasis on racing and more on sailing
- It won’t be the worst thing if Opti kids become 100% self-sufficient in boat prep, clean up and maintenance
- Note: coaches must be treated as first responders and be provided with PPE level safety equipment and possible Emergency Packs:
- Masks – N95 to be put on if/when needed in a rescue
- Sunglasses or safety glasses
- Wearing foul weather gear
- In the event of a close contact rescue both student and coach will be taken to shore directly and wash head to toe with soap and water – as dressed at time of contact, eg: in foul weather gear etc.
- If too hot then a large old foul weather gear that can be put on over whatever they are wearing and can be sanitized after use
- Soap and water on board all coach boats *Dawn Detergent works in salt water
- Create ‘family lanes’ with tape so it becomes part of the game/rules –
- Increase soap and water availability
- Take temperatures with a contactless thermometer
- Consider enacting the Experimental SY Appendix for all races
- Rags are environmentally friendly
- Bleach solution made new every day, kept in a bleach safe container
- Rags are soaked in the solution then used to clean
- Soap and water wash of contaminated surfaces
- Rinse the surface
- Use bleach rags to sanitize
- Leave alone for two minutes to allow it to kick
- Wipe any remaining liquid up
- Put load of bleach rags in the wash on sanitize cycle to clean, dry on high heat and be ready for the next day
Where to Stay
Visiting or Competing at Oakcliff? In addition to local inns for competitors and supporters, you can come and experience our recently renovated dormitory-style bunkhouse. This space features accommodation for 40 with a large, light, open-plan living space, gourmet chef’s kitchen and dedicated space for de-briefs, warm showers and, of course, camaraderie. Please e-mail race@oakcliffsailing for information on bunkhouse reservations.
The Harbor Rose Bed & Breakfast
253 Harbor Road (25A), Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Tel: 516 482 2740
* Accommodates guests arriving by water
Executive Inn at Woodbury
8030 Jericho Turnpike Woodbury, NY 11797
Tel: (516) 921- 8500
Best Western Woodbury Inn
7940 Jericho Turnpike Woodbury, NY 11797
Tel: (516) 921- 6900
Seminary of the Immaculate Conception
440 West Neck Road Huntington, NY 11743
Tel: 631-423-0483, ext 128
Fox Hollow Inn
7755 Jericho Turnpike,
Woodbury, New York, 11797
East Norwich Inn
6321 Northern Blvd. East Norwich, NY, 11732
We can recommend Laura in Bayville
Whenever you are representing Oakcliff Sailing it is expected that you will behave in a professional manner. You are representing Oakcliff Sailing any time you are: wearing Oakcliff apparel or organization branded gear at a sponsored event; at a sailing event as a part of Oakcliff; at Oakcliff facilities; or on their boats. The community at large and specifically the sailing community, sponsors and suppliers, and other employees and volunteers are to be treated with respect. There is to be no harassment or discrimination. All are encouraged and some may be required to complete Safe Sport Training, more information at this link. No underage drinking or promoting of underage drinking or illegal drug use is permitted while you are on or using Oakcliff’s property or representing Oakcliff Sailing.
Lifejackets are encouraged at all times and they are mandatory when the water temperature is below 55F and when the wind is above 15 knots.