World Rowing announced today that World Rowing Cup I would go ahead in Zagreb, Croatia this Spring as planned, taking place from April 30th to May 2nd. World Rowing also announced the postponement of the Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Gavirate, Italy to 3rd-5th June. The event had originally been scheduled for May 6th to 8th.
Statement from World Rowing:
Decisions on the Staging of World Rowing Events 8 February 2021
World Rowing faces several critical decisions for the first World Rowing Cup regatta and the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta, both envisioning global participation. A decision-making framework was created to provide certainty about when decisions on events would be made and to minimise the financial consequences for all stakeholders if events could not go forward. A key milestone in this process has now been reached with decisions due on whether the first events open to global participation should take place.
It has been World Rowing’s position that sport should continue during this pandemic and that events should, when and where possible, take place while keeping the safety and health of rowers and participants as the priority. In 2020, World Rowing and the Organising Committees agreed that intercontinental participation regattas, mainly for travel restriction reasons, could not take place successfully, and were cancelled. However, continental events were postponed with the anticipation to find periods when they could take place. Three European Championship regattas were successfully staged in late September and early October under strict COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures.
The decision-making framework for all events during the pandemic starts with two key considerations: first, the will and the ability of the organising committee and the host city to still stage the event in the current circumstances and, second, the full commitment of the organising committee and host city to implement the strict COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures required by World Rowing’s “Return to Regattas” guidelines.
World Rowing Cup I planned for Zagreb, Croatia from 30 April to 2 May 2021
Following extensive discussions with all key stakeholders, the World Rowing Executive Committee has verified that preparations for the World Rowing Cup I conform with the World Rowing requirements for 2021 regattas and have therefore confirmed that the regatta will take place as planned from 30 April – 2 May at the Lake Jarun Regatta Course in Zagreb.
World Rowing is profoundly aware of the obstacles national teams are facing in taking part in international events. However, World Rowing believes it is its duty to provide competition opportunities for athletes, when and where possible, while keeping the safety and health of rowers as the priority. As this event is not a qualification regatta for the Olympic or Paralympic Games, World Rowing believes that Member Federations will be able to freely evaluate their ability to travel to Zagreb and compete at this event without the external pressure of qualification.
As required by World Rowing’s event management guidance (Return to Regattas found here) which was successfully tested during 2020, the OC has developed a COVID -19 protection plan for staging the event based on the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) & World Rowing. The plan has been carefully reviewed and approved by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters. World Rowing and the OC are confident that the measures planned to be in place are appropriate to minimise the risk of transmission and infection at the event. The regatta COVID -19 Protection Plan is available online at http://www.zagrebrowing.com/.
Each Member Federation is responsible to exercise maximum care for its team members before, during and after the event. All participants must follow the measures in the OC COVID -19 Protection Plan at all times, including the wearing of masks at all times except in the boat, on an ergometer or at meals, social distancing and regular disinfection among the other measures published by the OC.
In addition to meeting any local government requirements, each participant at the regatta will be required to complete a Pre-Event Health Questionnaire and Member Federations are obliged to sign a consent form accepting responsibility for their team members. The forms will be sent out to Member Federations directly by the Zagreb OC and must be completed and returned to the OC by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, all participation conditions will be explained to participating athletes and officials in a webinar to be organised before travel to the event. To protect the health of all participants, anyone not adhering to the participation conditions will be immediately disqualified and excluded from the event, at the discretion of the World Rowing Executive Committee.
World Rowing and the Zagreb organising committee will continue to monitor travel restrictions and the global COVID-19 situation.
The remaining World Cup regattas will be addressed individually according to the published decision-making timelines (updated below).
Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta planned for Gavirate, Italy from 6 to 8 May 2021
The Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta with global participation is open to all Member Federations and is the final opportunity for all Para rowers to qualify for the Paralympic Games. Gavirate, Italy is the planned host of the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta from 6 to 8 May 2021. The organising committee has full support of local government and has also prepared comprehensive COVID-19 transmission mitigation plans.
In addition to the first two decision-making considerations mentioned above, for World Rowing, the third consideration applied to qualification events is access for the participants. In order to make the most informed decision on whether a “fair and equal opportunity to access the event” can be achieved for teams travelling globally to Gavirate, information was gathered through a global survey of all Member Federations last week. It has become clear that not all Member Federations will currently be able to access the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta without significant difficulties.
In order to give the greatest possible chance for the event to take place, the organising committee will postpone the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta to 3 – 5 June 2021 and, thus delaying the decision date. The Gavirate International Para Rowing Regatta will also move by a month to 4 to 6 June 2021 and the Para Rowing events planned for the World Rowing Cup III in Sabaudia, ITA will move to the Gavirate International Para Rowing Regatta the same weekend. The new dates correspond with the final equipment transport deadlines for the Tokyo Paralympic Games. The final decision on the staging of Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta will be announced on 22 February 2021.