Sunday, 12 July 2020

Regatta organisers ‘hoping for the best’

Regatta organisers ‘hoping for the best’

THE organisers of the Wargrave & Shiplake Regatta will make a decision about the future of the event by the end of this month.

Held annually on the River Thames, the event is due to take place on August 7 and 8, but it may have to be cancelled if large gatherings are still banned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Even with much of the preparation for this year’s regatta already done, the organisers would still need a three-month lead time.

The committee continues to monitor Government advice and says it will issue further news next month.

Peter Symons, honorary secretary, said: “It is a really difficult time and we are going to leave it as long as we can before we have to make a decision.

“We are mindful that the regatta is much looked forward to by many. It plays a role central to the summer of many families and we are keen not to disappoint if the opportunity arises.

“We are also conscious that at this time, the River Thames is effectively closed with no indication of when that restriction might be lifted and that emergency services support has been withdrawn for mass gatherings until further notice.

“On top of this, the regatta has significant fixed costs that need to be met annually, such as boat storage, maintenance and insurance, and we depend on the year-on-year support of the community to meet these costs.

“Against this background, we have been considering our operational options and their implications.

“We will continue to be fully observant of Government guidelines and prioritise the health and safety of our subscribers, competitors, spectators, staff, contractors, suppliers and volunteers.

“A final decision will be communicated — both by email and on our website — before the end of May.

“Like other events, we are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. We feel sure you will agree this is the best course of action at such an uncertain time.”

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