Cowes Week Limited (CWL), organiser of the UK’s largest and best-known sailing event, has today announced the cancellation of the 2020 Cowes Week regatta.
The CWL team had hoped that it would be possible to hold the much-loved regatta this summer for the competitors, sponsors and spectators who come together to make it a success. However, despite the encouraging progress that is being made towards the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s clear that running a large event in nine weeks’ time, that will bring many thousands of visitors to the small town of Cowes, will not be possible while sufficiently protecting all those involved.
Laurence Mead, Regatta Director, said: “We know that this will be a huge disappointment to many, as indeed it is to the team at Cowes Week. We waited for as long as we realistically could to see how the situation might develop, on the basis that our competitors would want us to run the regatta if it were possible. We appreciate the patience that everybody has shown while we have worked through different scenarios and would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers who have been on stand-by, ready to jump into action if needed.”
Kate Johnson, Commercial & Marketing Director, added: “We’re grateful to our sponsors, who have been understanding while we worked through our plans and have been willing to stand with us during this very difficult time. We know this will be disappointing for them, but also know that they agree that the health and safety of everyone concerned needs to be our primary consideration and that they view this as a responsible decision. We very much look forward to working with all our sponsors on next year’s event.”
Competitors already entered will be contacted in the next few days and will be invited to roll over their 2020 entry to the 2021 regatta, when Cowes Week will be back as the highlight of the UK sailing season on its traditional dates of July 31 to August 7.
Picture courtsy of CWL/Marin Allen