Over the past three months the International Cadet Class Association Executive Committee (ICCA EXCOM) has been carefully monitoring the impact of the coronavirus on our ability to hold international sailing events. I want to update you on our decision regarding the 2020 World Championship.
The global risk from coronavirus will be present until a vaccine is identified, produced, and administered worldwide. Governments agree there is only a remote chance of this being achieved within 12 months. Accordingly some restrictions are likely to remain in place worldwide to prevent an increase in fatalities. Unfortunately these will directly prevent us from holding a Worlds in Australia in 2020:
- Likely restrictions on international travel to Australia from all Cadet nations;
- An expectation that Australia will require incoming travellers to go into quarantine to protect Australia’s relatively low exposure to coronavirus;
- Restrictions on non-essential social gatherings;
- Restrictions on large assemblies of people (e.g. over 100).
Additional factors that make it harder to hold this event, or enter it, include: the collapse of sponsorship opportunities; changes to insurance policies eliminating cover for covid-19 related i.e. pandemic disruption; risk of uneven global restrictions preventing some countries entering; reduced personal incomes; and reduced opportunities for national selection events.
For all these reasons the Australian Worlds Organising Committee (WOC) has recommended to the ICCA EXCOM not to hold a World Championship in 2020. It has done so at this time because the WOC has a ‘point of no return’ in mid-May where it must make financial commitments that can only be recovered if the event goes ahead. The ICCA EXCOM has accepted the WOC’s recommendation; we will not hold a Cadet World Championship in 2020.
We know this will be a massive disappointment for the whole Cadet family. And we understand that there will be some sailors who have been working towards the 2020 Worlds for perhaps several years. We truly wish that the circumstances allowed us to make a different decision, but I am sure you will agree this is the only responsible course of action.
The ICCA EXCOM is continually reviewing the decisions from various national governments and the advice of national and international sailing governing bodies and is developing options to provide the Cadet Class with high quality international competition as soon as it is safe to do so. It is highly likely that this will include an event in Australia (with sufficient notice) as we are keen to take advantage of the superb sailing there. We are also exploring the possibility of a virtual regatta, which we know has had some success in other sailing classes.
We will keep you updated, including through your National Cadet Class Association.
Jan Martin Wilschut
International Cadet Class Association