The European Canoe Championships are cancelled in June due to the risks caused by the pandemic
The German Canoe Federation (DKV) has cancelled, together with the Duisburg Canoe Club, the European Championships scheduled for early June. DKV President Thomas Konietzko informed the presidents of the European Canoe Association, Albert Woods, of this decision over the weekend. The background was a communication from the corona crisis staff of the city of Duisburg. It states that: “Such an event is unlikely to be approvable even in June.”
In view of these concerns, the DKV decided in consultation with Jürgen Joachim, the president of the Duisburg Canoe Regatta Association, not to host the European Championships from June 3 to 6. Thomas Konietzko made clear in his letter to the ECA: "We regret very much that there was no alternative. However, despite intensive negotiations with the city, we were unable to obtain a binding commitment for a permit. Rather, it was made clear to us that we would probably have to expect a ban on events."
Jürgen Joachim, the president of the Canoe Regatta Association and head of the organizing committee for the European Championships, said, "We were really looking forward to the regatta and were very far along with our preparations. Of course, we knew about the risk posed by the pandemic. Nevertheless, we were confident for a long time. However, the incidence figures, which have risen rapidly in the meantime, have spoken against us."
In its letter, the city points out that unlike soccer matches, for example, a major regatta can´t be held in a "bubble." The high number of participants and participating nations would argue against this. The Canoe Regatta Association reckoned with more than 800 active participants from over 30 countries.
In the run-up to the regatta, the organizers had concluded or would have had to conclude contracts with hotels, transport companies or for catering. Accordingly, cancellation costs in the six-figure range would have been incurred in the event of a cancellation at short notice. "We couldn´t and didn´t want to take this risk in view of the clear warning by the crisis team," says Jürgen Joachim.
The next international canoe regatta in Duisburg will be the World Championships in summer 2023.