Monday, 03 August 2020
SWIMMERS have expressed their disappointment with Henley Swim’s refund policy after it decided to cancel another event due to the coronavirus.
The Thames Marathon, a 14km event from Henley to Marlow, was due to take place on August 16.
Henley Swim had already called off the other three events – the Henley Classic (June 28), the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival, (July 12) and the Club to Pub swim (July 25).
However, swimmers took to social media to voice their anger after being told they would only receive 50 per cent of their £120 entry fee, or the equivalent towards next year’s event.
Roderic Yapp said: “I understand that the event can’t be run safely, so I think it’s the right call, but the refund policy is ridiculous. Could you have not expanded the 2021 swim and given everyone a pass for next year?”
Mark Toulson added: “While I'm sad that the event has had to be cancelled – and I sympathise with the position of the organisers somewhat – I find the offer of 50 per cent to be unacceptable. Surely we are entitled to a full refund as consumers or a deferment in full to the 2021 event?”
A statement from Henley Swim reads: “Over the past few weeks we have been consulting with the relevant authorities and monitoring the government announcements while working hard to consider how we can safely deliver the event.
“The complexity of the Thames Marathon – multiple event sites, natural pinch points, logistical and transport issues – has led us to the conclusion that it is simply not possible while adhering to good hygiene practices and the current social distancing regulations.
“We are resigned, but devastated. If you have registered for the Thames Marathon you will receive an email with your options.
“The rearranged Henley Swim Festival and Club to Pub events have a completely different set up to the Thames Marathon, this year on a single site with ample space to meet social distancing regulations.
“We are therefore very hopeful that they will go ahead on the rescheduled dates of August 28 and 29. Thanks for your support during this time and hope to see you in the river soon.”
More than 850 swimmers took part in the ninth edition of the Thames Marathon last summer, setting off from Leander Club in 10 waves.
Jeremy Laming, co-organiser of the event, has been approached for comment.
Full the full story, see next week’s Henley Standard.
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