With 25 days to go to the start in Cork Harbour, the much–hyped 2016 Venture Cup Round Ireland Poweboat Race has been cancelled.
The announcement was made by email to supporters and confirmed to Afloat.ie by race organiser Aidan Foley this afternoon.
The race had attracted significant backing from state companies and councils as 'a major summer sporting fixture'. Dublin City Council along with Dublin Port Company launched the event on the river Liffey in January and last month the event was launched in Cork on the River Lee by the City Council. The race was supposed to start in the south coast harbour in just over three weeks time and then visit ports right the way round Ireland over the period of a week from June 12. Stop over ports included Dingle, Galway, Killybegs, Belfast and Dublin.
The Failte Ireland supported race was billed as the 'world’s longest, toughest and most prestigious powerboat race'. According to the race website 'it’s an epic adventure where teams will be forced to meet the very toughest conditions the ocean can muster-up over 1,000 miles of Ireland’s spectacular coastline'.
25 top international teams were expected to compete in the 700–mile marathon. Last Sunday, Ireland's Team Hibernia under Skipper John Ryan were training on Dublin Bay.
The full cancellation message states:
'It is with enormous regret that we must advise you that the 2016 Venture Cup has been cancelled.
Delivering an event of this scale was always going to present challenges, but we felt we had the team and support to make it happen. However, we began suffering acute cash-flow problems at the end of March. Regardless of the funding commitment to the overall event, without positive cash-flow we were being strangled. Right across the month and into May we actively sought to source solutions. Only a week ago we had a potential answer on the table which not only resolved the issue but secured the event into the future. Unfortunately this, and other avenues, have failed to materialise and we have reached a point where we can no longer proceed in good faith.
We would like to both thank, and apologise to, the teams, stakeholders, authorities, communities and individuals who’ve put so much faith into this plan over the past year. We can assure you that we left no stone unturned in our attempts to resolve this issue, but we must now act prudently and that means cancelling the event when we are unable to guarantee that we can continue to operate.
For those teams who have paid their entry-fees, these are currently in the process of being returned.
Thank you for your support.
The Venture Cup Team