The RS Elite Association announces this week, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix, incorporating the UK National Championships, has been postponed. Originally scheduled to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron from 9th to 12th July 2020, the event will now take place from 9th to 12th June 2022.
As Afloat reported in February, this year’s eagerly anticipated event would have been the first international RS Elite event and the largest ever gathering of RS Elites, with entrants from countries including the UK, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Norway, Germany, USA and Australia. The continuing uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the scale of the event and the necessity for international competitors to reschedule travel plans make it impossible to postpone the event to a date later this year. Given the need for advance scheduling, it has not proved possible to find a mutually suitable slot in both the 2021 Solent and Class sailing calendars.
The postponement of the 2020 Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix means that the 2020 RS Elite UK National Championships, which was to have formed part of the regatta, will no longer be held. Of the other events in the RS Elite calendar for 2020, the Hayling Island Whitsun Regatta has been postponed to 29th-30th August 2020 and all other events remain in place for now, yet remain under review. Any other changes to the program will be announced as soon as possible.
Event Organiser Charlie Egerton-Warburton has said: “On a positive note, the detailed planning for the 2020 event had been done, many sponsors and supporters have already confirmed their desire to remain associated with a 2022 event and the majority of the elements can be carried forward. We, therefore, hope that all of this year’s competitors will mark their diaries accordingly, and we will look forward to welcoming everyone to the Royal Yacht Squadron in June 2022.”
RS Elite Association Chairman Paul Fisk has said: “Whilst we are of course hugely disappointed to postpone the regatta, not going sailing for a while seems the least that the Association can do to help and support those in the health and social care sectors around the world who are really up against it in the fight against COVID-19 – we wish them all the very best. Postponing the event until 2022 gives us a great opportunity to build an even better event when the international RS Elite community will be able to come together at the Royal Yacht Squadron."