Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Regatta organisers optimistic

THE organisers of the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta will make a decision on whether this year’s event will go ahead by the end of this month.

The event was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic but is currently scheduled to take place on August 6 and 7 this year.

Honorary secretary Peter Symons says the Government’s roadmap announcement has given the organising committee hope, with social distancing rules set to end on June 21.

However, he says if that date is pushed back it would pose problems for the regatta, which is held on the River Thames off Mill Lane, Shiplake.

Mr Symons said: “We intentionally held back on communicating our thoughts on 2021 until after the Government’s announcement on the roadmap out of lockdown.

“Like so many others, our hope was that this might offer us greater clarity on the opportunities for — and circumstances under which — we might hold a regatta in August.

“In many ways, it did. Most significantly, of course, we know that from June 21, it is hoped that all legal limits on social contact can be removed and restrictions on large events lifted.

“This is supported, of course, by the hugely successful vaccination programme that continues apace.

“However, we remain equally mindful of the hurdles that need to be cleared for this to happen and that our scheduled regatta dates are only a few short weeks after this hoped-for target date.

“The practicalities of delivering a covid-safe regatta — with social distancing most likely still to be required, a need to operate a track and trace system and a potential need to limit numbers as a result — remain uppermost in our minds.

“We acknowledge the regatta’s role in supporting society’s efforts to limit the spread of covid-19 and, in particular, our need to ensure this within our local community.”

For more information, visit wsregatta.co.uk

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