As the Covid pandemic continues to affect our lives – and our sailing – the IDA Officers have been faced with many questions about whether cancelled championship and Grand Prix events should be moved to different dates or venues.
While it is tempting to try to hold events at any cost the Officers feel that this must be balanced with the need to maintain the quality of the events both numerically and from an organisational point of view. We need to be sensitive to a number of different issues.
- Our very full calendar makes rescheduling difficult and inevitably a new date will clash with another event and reduce attendances
- Moving an event does not guarantee its success. If an event cannot be held in say, Germany, because of Covid restrictions, then it is highly likely that no German sailors will be able or willing to attend the event in a different country
- Top class events cannot be successfully organised at a few months’ notice. In particular, World Championships are governed by World Sailing and must meet certain criteria, or risk losing their status
- Organising teams plan Championships and GP events many years in advance, and do not make decisions to cancel lightly. They have sponsors to consider as well. We’d regard it as very unfair on a host country to move an event to a neighbouring country where Covid restrictions are temporarily relaxed
- We already have a growing list of venues which have had events cancelled (through no fault of their own) who are owed priority, in the spirit of fairness, for selection in the future, including Scarlino, Douarnenez, Cascais and Puerto Portals.
I hope this helps explain why the IDA Officers are acting with caution.
We have already seen the cancellation of the Europeans in Portals, the Portuguese Grand Prix in Cascais, and the French Grand Prix in Cannes. The Worlds and Gold Cup are still on track as we write this; we remain optimistic even though recent news of the pandemic is not good. We are encouraging organisers to stick to a 2 month cut off for decisions so that sailors can plan.
As happened in 2020, we expect that many local events will flourish, even though numbers of boats may be lower than usual. We hope that many national championships will take place as planned.
Jens Rathsack & the IDA Officers