JSA of LIS Racing Formats for Summer 2020

To JSA of LIS Member Program Leaders,

We want to alert you to some important changes that will impact the JSA racing format and schedule for this summer.

Following careful deliberation by the JSA Board, the decision has been made not to designate events as JSA qualifiers and championships for the upcoming summer. However, any host may proceed with a scheduled event that is limited to its members and local sailors who arrive by water.

This action is being taken with a sense of caution regarding the challenges of managing and controlling COVID-19 risks at events that involve large gatherings and the resulting inability to maintain proper social distancing. The JSA has been monitoring guidance and directives from the CDC, New York State and Connecticut, and that guidance has been a significant factor in this decision, which was announced during the virtual JSA town hall meeting on May 21.

The JSA now proposes an alternative racing format that allows junior sailors to compete while minimizing the risks associated with sailors and parents being in close proximity, as was the norm at traditional regattas. We encourage local and neighborhood racing that is less structured and, hopefully, more frequent.

The proposed alternative format is local area competition with sailors launching from their own club and arriving by water. The characteristics of such an event may include:
• Participation by two or more member programs located in close geographic proximity.
• Participants would sail or be towed to the racing area from their home programs.
• Elimination of land-side activities.
• Format of simple “college style” short course races.
• Staffing of race committee and mark boats limited to instructors from participating programs.
• Participants bring their own lunches.
• Online registration available using Clubspot
• Scoring by event or series
• No on site awards. Scores tallied and prizes, if included, are mailed. Virtual awards acknowledgement by video.

We believe local competition is the best way to maximize the opportunities for our sailors to race this summer. The format can range from a one-off scrimmage to a scheduled series held weekly or over multiple days. There could be a social media component and swag. This is a great opportunity to unleash our imagination. We believe this approach will result in more, not fewer, junior sailors on the water this summer

The JSA is also developing a “Pandemic” Racing Playbook with measures to provide a safe and fun experience for our Junior Sailors, while also ensuring that social distancing is respected, instructors can set and manage simple courses, towing is minimized, dependence on volunteers is minimized, and programs can eliminate non-member use of their facilities. We expect to have that playbook available shortly.

The JSA will continue to monitor developments and provide updates as appropriate.

If you have questions, please reach out to the JSA office by email to info@jsalis.org