Governor Jay Inslee’s Senior Policy Advisor for Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development, Jon Snyder, recently offered a clarifying quote about crew restrictions for sailboat racing.

Big kudos to a local boat racer, David Miller (who has a prior background in politics and policy) and the Northwest Marine Trade Association’s VP of Government Affairs, Peter Schrappen. The two worked together in search of a clearer answer about what guidance and crew limits actually apply to sailboat racing under the Covid-19 Outdoor Recreation Guidelines for Washington State, and this led Schrappen to inquire and get a clarifying response from Governor Jay Inslee’s office.

Schrappen shared the following quote from Inslee’s Senior Policy Advisory for Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development, Jon Snyder:

“The Governor has no plans to issue sailboat racing guidelines. Sailboat racing is currently allowed just as recreational boating in general is allowed and has been allowed. The only limitation would be for number of crew members. That would be subject to the same limitations as guided fishing and similar activities: 12.”

Racers may explore the parameters that Mr. Snyder references, but Schrappen offered the following context:

“Obviously, I want each organization to do what’s right for their club, and sailors to do what’s right for them as individuals. These are tough times to find relief, and recreational boating and sailboat racing can be a safe outlet for outdoor activity. I’m pleased to report that Governor Inslee (who is a sailor, himself) and his office have specified that sailboat racing is allowed — just as they have allowed for recreational boating in general — and what crew limit should be applied. Now, if the boat has more than 12 people, that is not permissible as those types of gatherings are now allowed for any other activity.”

Miller responded: “As long as we can hold on to Phase 2, this should make COVID-19 related racing decisions much easier for our race committees.”

Prior to this clarification, many clubs have worked off of a five-person limit, abiding by guidelines in the Governor’s Safe Start Plan.

Title photo courtesy of Jan Anderson is from the before times… Round the County 2019.