Alert Level 1 – and what it means for paddlers

The move to Alert Level 1 means that all restrictions on paddling are now removed. This is great news for our community of clubs and paddlers. Clubs can resume normal operation, hopefully with a renewed enjoyment as we all realise what a privilege it is to be able to get out on the water and paddle with our friends.

Whilst restrictions have ended, the government is asking us to keep track of our movements to enable contract tracing if Covid-19 does resurface. From the club side, this can be achieved by maintaining, for now, the systems created during Level 2. Individual paddlers can help by keeping a diary of our movements and when we meet other people, particularly in groups. 

We also encourage paddlers and clubs to keep up good safety and hygiene practices. There is a reduced risk of Covid-19 infection, but watersports still involve some risk and winter carries added risk of cold and flu infection. To that end, we recommend the following measures:

Safety tips for individual paddlers

•Always paddle with a buddy if possible;

• If you go to the water alone, always tell someone where you’re going and what time you plan to return;

• Take a phone, personal flotation device and, where relevant, other safety equipment such as a flare, EPIRB and whistle. Maritime NZ recommends 2 forms of communication at all times, and a lifejacket is a legal requirement at all times for paddlers whose boats are less than 6m long;

• If you are paddling a kayak, an air bag or other floatation device in your boat is a good idea.

Good hygiene practice for clubs:

• Regular washing and drying of hands, good cough/sneeze etiquette and avoiding touching your face;

• Disinfecting surfaces before and after use, including boats, and having regular cleaning procedures for objects used regularly like door handles; 

• Implementing several soap/sanitiser stations around your premises (eg entrance, boat park, changing rooms, food and water distributions stations and all gathering rooms and stations) and encouraging members to bring their own to keep costs down;

• Washing shared equipment, like life jackets, after every use;

• Careful transfer of food and water during training and racing to avoid cross-contamination;

• Appropriate number of waste bins with lids for discarded tissues

• People with cold- and flu-like symptoms should stay away

Happy paddling everyone, from all at CRNZ.