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International WASZP Games cancelled

by Marc Ablett 16 Mar 22:24 PDT
2019 WASZP Games in Perth © Drew Malcolm

It is a with a heavy heart that WASZP has decided to cancel the 2020 International WASZP Games to be hosted at Maclesine, Lake Garda, Italy. We are really feeling for all those affected by COVID-19 currently both in Italy and around the world. With this decision, we are dealing with what is in front of us currently and not what is 'potentially' going to happen in the future. We can only deal in the current environment.

Although this is a long distance still until the event, we are dealing with unprecedented circumstances, including lengthy travel bans, quarantine and reduced services. The issues we are facing with International competitors travelling to Europe for this event are numerous and complicated. We have already had a number pull out of the event already, with so much uncertainty around travel safety.

The last thing we want our customers, sailors to experience the uncertainty of an event that may not run, we have already seen this in Australia with the F1 Grand Prix, being cancelled the day of the event starting, meaning people travelling from around the world and domestically have already spent the money required to be there for no event.

We do not want to run the risk of sailors booking, travel, shipping and accommodation at the risk of having to stop the event when it is too late. We would rather our sailors invest in the domestic scene for 2020 and then move forward with an exciting 2021 Event Season, we are especially looking forward to April 2021 in Auckland NZ and the potential re-scheduling of a European based International WASZP Games either 2021 or 2022.

All is not lost in 2020 as we race to find some contingencies to create an exciting year for WASZP. We are in constant talks with Fraglia Vela Malcesine and the option of creating a compressed event as a European Championships is very much an option in the same timeslot. This will depend on the situation as it evolves. But at the moment we feel it is best to keep the opportunity open for those who have already booked accom/travel. We desperately want to protect our sailors and customers against any financial strain and by calling the event off early it hopefully saves some of our sailors any financial strain and for those already committed we will do our best to have something in place if the situation becomes safe.

Fraglia Vela Malcesine have been amazing through the process and we certainly want to help them if we can when they come out of the current situation.

WASZP is already looking at an 'on-line' based event circuit and the development of some new formats that are exciting for not just our current sailors going forward with isolation issues, but also for new WASZP owners who may be in isolated areas.

We still have the SailGP legs to look forward to, particularly in Europe in August/December for Cowes and Copenhagen, with the local fleets looking to create a 'festival' of WASZP sailing around those events. We have a contingency to add a 2020 European Championships on the back of an existing major event.

We will make further comment on the 1st of April 2020.

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