It is with deep regret that we have to make the decision to cancel The Doctor for 2020. Uncertainty surrounding border openings, social distancing and other Covid-19 related issues make it impossible to move forward on our planning for the event.
“We can’t say with certainty but I would be very surprised if WA even opens their borders this year. There is too much at stake for WA at present and they look to be in one of the best positions when you look at the way the virus has impacted other parts of Australia and the world. My personal feeling is that they would be mad to open at this stage and we can’t have that uncertainty hanging over our event preparations,” said Race Director Dean Gardiner.
The West Australian paddling fraternity will push ahead with the other events on the current WA Race Week program. The Indian Ocean Paddlers (IOP) group and City of Perth Surf Club will still run their Fenn West Coast Downwind and Dr Benjamin Hewitt Triple SSS events.
Oceanpaddler and Shaw and Partners are committed to finding an alternative to the WA Race Week to be held in NSW.
“We are investigating some options to run a similar format with similar prize money to what we had planned in WA for this year in a location close to Sydney. This would include a number of downwind ocean races, The Dash for Cash, Ironman event and a paddleboard race. Among that group of events would be a big key longer downwind race. The week would conclude with The Shaw and Partners 20 Beaches which is likely to be brought forward to the 28th of November,” said Gardiner.
The Shaw and Partners East Coast Race Week, if held now, could be conducted in accordance with current Covid-19 restrictions. Organisers will be keeping a close eye on what develops over the next few weeks with regards to restrictions on events and social distance requirements.
It is planned to make an announcement about the Shaw and Partners East Coast Race Week two weeks from now.