Roads: 2021 Southern 100 Road Races cancelled due to Covid-19

The 2019 Senior at the Southern 100 event.
The 2019 Senior at the Southern 100 event.

The 2021 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races have been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s event was due to be held on July 12-15 on the Billown circuit in the south of the island. However, it has been called off as a result of the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding whether or not the island’s border restrictions would be open to fans.

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The Isle of Man’s borders have been closed to non-residents since March last year – meaning that the 2020 Isle of Man TT, Classic TT and Southern 100 events were cancelled. However, the island is currently in its third week of lockdown following increase in cases.

“It is very disappointing that the club have had to make this decision after what appeared circumstances would be favourable to run the Southern 100 in July, as normal,” Club Chairman and Race Secretary, George Peach said. “Behind the scenes during the winter we have been busy getting all the paperwork in order and in constant contact with our race partners, sponsors, government agencies and others vital to getting the races organised and ready to run – all of whom have been fully behind us for the races to be run on their ‘traditional’ dates.

“It will certainly be a major blow to our competitors, many of whom make the Southern 100 their ‘feature’ event of the year, as well as the numerous fans and enthusiasts who travel across annually to enjoy the exciting close massed-start races on the Colas Billown Course – all of which were prevented from a sending in 2020 and were looking forward to making their journeys across the Irish Sea later this year.”

Of course, like all road racing events, the Southern 100 relies heavily on visiting medics and marshals, and the Chief Medical Officer believed that sufficient medical cover could not be guaranteed later in the year. A similar situation could exist regarding marshalling the course, with the organisers having to rely more and more on visiting personnel.

Under a three-phase exit plan, restriction-free travel to the Isle of Man by non-residents is not expected to be reinstated until September.

The Cookstown 100 joins the TT and North West 200 in being cancelled for 2021 – a year which is fast becoming another disappointment for road racing fans.