Roads: 2021 North West 200 cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic
The 2021 North West 200 road racing event has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown and restrictions.
It had been hoped that this year's NW200 could be moved from its original slot in May to a date in August. Hopes were boosted with the introduction of the vaccine; however, officials have now confirmed that it would just not be safe to run the event.
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"The official advice from government and public health officials has made it clear the effects of Coronavirus will remain with us for some considerable time to come, despite the roll out of the vaccination programme," this morning's statement said. "In those circumstances, and after much consideration, the Club committee feels it would be impossible to run this year’s event.
"A contingency plan that involved delaying race week from May until August has been given full consideration. However, with so much time, expense and personnel involved in the planning and preparation of the NW200, the risk in pursuing such a plan is too great because of continued uncertainty around both the effects of the virus on our community and the extent of the restrictions aimed at suppressing it."
The 2021 Isle of Man TT has already been cancelled because of the pandemic, whilst the Tandragee 100 was also called off earlier this month. The Cookstown 100 event has been pushed back from April until September.The Skerries 100 event, held in the Republic of Ireland, is, as it stands, still going ahead.
It's the second year in succession that the two major road racing events have been cancelled, with the road racing sector being impacted the most by Covid-19.
"The Coleraine Club’s main priority must be to ensure the safety and wellbeing of not only those involved in the event, but also the residents of the north coast area and further afield," the statement continues. "It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the organisers to limit the number of people who travel to the area during race week which, in turn, could pose a significant risk to the local population. That is a situation that cannot be contemplated.
"Although extremely disappointing, the decision to cancel the NW200 for the second year in a row is the only responsible course of action the Coleraine Club can take. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all of our loyal sponsors, officials and volunteers for their understanding and support."
Whilst this year's NW200 won't happen, dates for the 2022 event have already been revealed. A provisional date of May 8-14 has been allocated. The Coleraine and District Motor Club's reservation team will be in touch with fans regarding their bookings in the coming weeks.