The Cowes offshore powerboat races have been cancelled today in what could be the cruellest blow to the 2020 powerboat calendar yet.
The event that was set to celebrate the 60th anniversary of offshore racing from Cowes and was scheduled to run over the weekend of August 29-31, was due to feature the classic Cowes Torquay Cowes race, racing for Class 3 boats and historic craft.
The full press release from the British Powerboat Racing Club, the organisers, is below:
The British Powerboat Racing Club (BPRC), organisers of the longstanding Cowes Torquay Cowes International Offshore Powerboat Race and more recently Cowes Poole Cowes powerboat race, regretfully announce that it will not run any race in 2020.
On the 20th May 2020 the BPRC announced the postponement of the 60th anniversary celebrations until 2021 but had still hoped to run a basic race over the traditional August Bank Holiday weekend.
However, despite the encouraging progress that is being made towards the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic it is clear that running an event of this nature, that will bring many visitors to the small town of Cowes, will not be possible whilst adequately protecting those involved and the people of Cowes.
The safety of the public, competitors, the support crews, the team of volunteers who help organise the event, the volunteers who provide safety cover and the volunteers who officiate the weekend, is paramount and with social distancing still very much in force, the organisers feel they could not continue with their plans in any realistic form.
The directors are aware that this will be a huge disappointment to many, as indeed it is to the Club.
The decision to cancel racing in 2020 has been strongly influenced by the recent cancellation of the two largest and most prestigious sailing events in Cowes, the ‘Cowes Classic’ and the ‘Cowes Week’ regattas, scheduled for late July and early August respectively, coupled with the overwhelming feeling of many Isle of Wight residents who are understandably uncomfortable with large numbers of visitors travelling to the Island at this time and the foreseeable future.
The Club appreciates the patience its members have shown through this difficult decision-making process.
Whilst accompanied with a strong sense of regret, we are sure that we have reached a responsible conclusion to cancel, in light of no viable alternative.
The team at the BPRC will now focus on exciting plans for the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2021, which will take place between the 27th and 29th August and very much look forward to welcoming back competitors, sponsors and supporters for this historic and much loved race.