Unfortunately I am sending this email to all Zephyr contestants to let you all know that we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel the upcoming 2022 Zephyr National Champs planned at Worser Bay 3-6 Feb and that we will be rescheduling the next Zephyr national champs at WBBC for a similar time in 2023 (still TBC).
The key factors driving this decision have been:
- Our expected event attendance numbers, including sailors, support people and our club volunteers, would likely exceed the maximum 100 person limit for events operating under My Vaccine Pass requirements for the Red level, so this event would be pushing the boundaries of the guidelines in the protection framework, even if overall numbers dropped below 100 for the event.
- Omicron is the most highly contagious variant of Covid-19 so far and the NZ Government have warned that they expect this variant to infect many more people and spread far more quickly than previous variants, as people infected with Omicron often have low level symptoms or are asymptomatic at the initial infection stages, which can also be difficult to detect through early testing. The Govt has signalled that over the next few weeks we could expect several hundreds or even thousands of new community transmitted infections per day.
- A number of our key volunteers have also communicated their concerns about being involved in such a large event operating 2 weeks into the Covid Red level, due to the risks and uncertainty about potentially unaware infected participants that may also be attending the event.
I do understand that this must be very disappointing news for those of you who have registered and looking forward to sailing at these championships, as well as for many of our organising committee members who have done a lot of great work towards the planning of this regatta. But I do strongly feel that managing the impending risks to the health and safety of our sailors and volunteers is the highest priority in this situation. I do hope you understand this too. It certainly has been a tough decision to make.
I will be meeting with our organising committee this week to further work through the impacts of this cancellation and to also look at how we can refund as much of the registration and dinner fees as possible, so I will be in touch again soon with more information as it becomes available.
WZOA President and 2022 Organising Committee Chairman