A SAILING club which sits over the county border in Wales is having to be patient on their re-opening awaiting Covid-19 restrictions to be relaxed.

Llangorse Sailing Club is situated near the Black Mountains within the Brecon Beacons National Park and subject to Welsh Government legislation.

Despite sailing and rowing clubs across the English border being able to allow members to sail again the Llangorse Sailing Club is not in the same position.

Commodore and local farmer, Ben Williams said: “As soon as restrictions are sufficiently eased by the Welsh Government, we’ll be ready to welcome sailors who want to rig-up and sail abiding by social-distancing guidelines.

“Restrictions have been further eased in England than Wales, and there many sailing clubs are active again. This has caused some understandable confusion in members who live in England and many of our members do live in Herefordshire.

"We understand and share their frustration as the inconsistency between England and Wales has raised questions in border-areas from north-to-south.

“We’re being patient. But we’re also being cautious and responsible. We’re aware of the higher rate of infection in the wider area and the fear of further outbreaks which is influencing Welsh Government policy.

“We’ve been working with local and national government, with the Royal Yachting Association, the lake owner and other users."

The club which is based at Llangorse Lake has a membership of 350 people from 100 families including many from over the Herefordshire border.

Sailing began on the lake prior to the 1939-1945 war and the club was formed by a few enthusiasts in 1952. On its formation, the club became tenants of a family who ran pleasure boats on the lake and then in 1968 the club was able to buy the site. Williams says that once guidelines are eased families will be able sail on the lake for recreational purposes.

"Individuals - or people from the same household sailing together - should be able to gain their daily exercise within expected guidelines," Williams added.

"We’ve put together a set of measures which maximise safety to members. Social distancing will apply, sailors will be able to rig and launch without imposing risk to others or themselves, and we will restrict access to buildings where people tend to gather.

"Sadly, for the meantime, there will be no racing, training or coaching – which brings people into close-proximity with each other – but to have the site open for recreational sailing will be a great step forward.

“We’ll be reminding members that it’s their responsibility to stay at home if they show signs of symptoms. Equally, we’re asking members only to bring their boats if they plan to sail them soon and regularly.

“We look forward to returning to normality as soon as we can. As things stand we’re being patient and making preparations at the club-site within the scope of existing regulations."