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    Surf schools adapt to new physical-distancing rules – Jersey Evening Post


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    SURF schools in St Ouen’s Bay are making operational changes to meet distancing rules as they are granted permission to open for the summer.

    El Tico and Surfboard open for business. Surf instructors Dan Harris and Sam Gorvel with Andrew Hosegood (centre)..Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (28633113)

    Moving into Level 2 of the safe exit strategy means that surf schools have been given the go ahead from Ports of Jersey to operate with specific coronavirus measures in place.

    The owner of The Surfyard, Andrew Hosegood, thanked Ports of Jersey for their continued co-operation and revealed extensive changes to the way the school will run.

    ‘We had to ask ourselves, how do you safely run a surf school with two-metre distancing?

    ‘We have since answered such questions. We’re reducing the parameters within the way we work; working in a smaller wave height, lighter winds and smaller group size to minimise the risk of an accident.’

    Due to distancing rules Mr Hosegood said the school had bought equipment such as throwing ropes to perform a rescue if needed without breaking the two-metre rule.

    Mr Hosegood explained currently they can only offer lessons one-to-one or in groups of the same household and will minimise contact the instructors have with students. However, this may be subject to change if restrictions are eased further.

    ‘The virus has resulted in school activities week camps being cancelled which is a loss of 80 kids. Currently we cannot take bookings for our summer surf camps which usually consist of 12 to 24 kids each week,’ he said.

    ‘Summer camps are about surfing but also playtime, interaction, engagement and making new friends. It’s a substantial loss to the school and a shame for the kids.’

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    The co-owner of Laneez Surf School, Grace Donaldson, said they will only offer lessons to those competent enough to surf unassisted in the water.

    ‘Due to the inability to physically teach and assist students in the water, we are forced to act as coaches and take a more hands-off role in the water.’

    Mrs Donaldson said the school was following guidance from governing body Surfing England and had implemented a ‘social distancing surf school check list’. ‘The check list includes alterations to our set-up on land to ensure distancing around the school, all hire equipment will be thoroughly sanitised before and after use and there will be check lists printed to advise customers on new rules,’ she said.

    Despite the challenges, Mr Hosegood, who also owns El Tico Beach Cantina, believes the pandemic will help remind locals to appreciate what they have on their doorstep.

    ‘Our usual default setting is to jump on a plane somewhere warm, but we have world class beaches, restaurants and facilities on offer in the heart of St Ouen’s Bay,’ he said. ‘Hopefully we can continue to share that with people this summer.’

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