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Round the Island Race © RTIR
Round the Island Race © RTIR

Round the Island Race 2020

It is with enormous regret that the Island Sailing Club announces the cancellation of the 2020 Round the Island Race.

Since first announcing the postponement of the 2020 Race from May to September, the Club has been exploring every avenue with all relevant authorities to keep the 2020 race alive. However, running the race to guarantee Covid-19 compliance to protect the safety of staff and volunteers as well as the many thousand competitors, has proved impossible.

Race Director Dave Atkinson said: “With fears of a second wave, the growing number of restrictions on overseas travel as well as the rise in local lockdowns; our hopes of staging this year’s race have been dashed. As sailing restrictions have eased, it appeared that safety on the water was becoming less of an issue; but sadly, with Round the Island being one of the UK’s largest sporting events, achieving shoreside Covid-19 compliance within current government guidelines, is simply not achievable.”

The Club is immensely grateful for the guidance it has received in helping it come to this decision, especially that from the RYA and the Isle of Wight Council.

Ian Walker, RYA Racing Director, said: “I am sad to hear that the Round the Island Race, a highlight of the British sailing calendar, has been cancelled for 2020. I am sure many people, like myself, were looking forward to competing in the re-arranged race, but I am not surprised that the Island Sailing Club came to this tough decision. Whilst the RYA have pushed hard for the return to boating that we have enjoyed since May, we have also encouraged the boating community to be considerate and conservative. I believe that this decision recognises the potential risks of such a large-scale event, respects our RYA principles, and most importantly respects the emergency services and the many local communities that might have been affected. I very much hope that 2021 will prove to be bigger and better than ever.”

The Club echoes these comments and planning for the 2021 race starts immediately. The hundreds of entries for this year’s race will be rolled over to 2021 when they will be joined by hundreds more to make the 2021 Round the Island Race an unforgettable celebration of sailing. The date for your diaries is Saturday 3 July 2021.

If you require further information please contact the ISC team via rir@islandsc.org.uk.

by Jo Bowden

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