The United Kingdom Offshore Powerboat Racing Association (UKOPRA) sounded a cautiously optimistic note about their 2020 offshore racing season today.
UKOPRA Chairman, Kerry Bobin issued this statement:
As we now move toward a relaxation of measures we are now in a position to set out plans for this years racing should those reduced measures come on stream as set out by the government.
Above all as a sport we have a social responsibility to plan sensibly and not increase risks unnecessarily for both our competitors and the wider public.
Social distancing measures will be with us for some time and also controls of travel hence our calendar must change but also reflect that we should not promote unnecessary travel.
We are doing all we can to be prepared to race when we can and will adapt as we need to throughout the year.
Therefore the championship this year will comprise of local racing within England with International competitors welcomed if they can meet all requirements from all the jurisdictions they would cross.
In the meantime please respect government guidance as it changes in respect of being able to get out on the water.
Provisional changes to the 2020 calendar of events as follows:
13th June Poole – Event cancelled
25th July Guernsey – Venue cancelled and moved to Poole
9th August Littehampton – Venue cancelled with date retained and Solent / Poole venue to be advised
30th August Cowes – Continuing to plan
24-27th September Yarmouth – Speed records to go ahead and potential race if required.
A revised advance notice will be prepared and issued with the race instructions and entry forms for the first possible race.
Our Guernsey hosts are highly disappointed to cancel the venue after such a fabulous event last year but logistically it can no longer be done without the ability to confirm accommodation or boat movements.
There is the possibility that a race could be run 19/20th September if sufficient racers wished and we will take the temperature of that in the coming weeks.
They will however be back with a vengeance in 2021 and feature strongly in our proposed calendar for 2021.
2021 Proposed Calendar
31st May – Poole Bay 100
26th June – Guernsey Gold Cup
24th July – South Coast Marathon
29th August – Cowes Classic
23/26th September – Yarmouth Speed Festival
John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.