We’ve been working hard over the past weeks and months to assess whether running a competition at Aston Down would be feasible in August. Ensuring your safety, and the safety of the crews, our volunteers and our neighbours, has been our biggest priority. We also believe that competitions should be fun and enjoyable for everyone, and we think these aspects will be significantly compromised by the current situation.
We therefore regret to announce that the Junior Nationals & Cotswold Regionals 2020 is cancelled.
This has not been an easy decision to make, but we hope you will understand that there are many complex issues that have led to this decision. Whilst we think that running the competition might have been possible with the right restrictions, we don’t believe it would have been the fun and enjoyable experience that you would expect from a Juniors or a Regionals. We have outlined some of the principal issues below.
- Limited opportunity for social events and continuing restrictions on larger gatherings
- Limited catering and bar (takeaway only and restrictions on outdoor social seating)
- Field landing issues (restrictions on who can crew to maintain social distancing rules)
- Safety and hygiene in the campsite and the shared toilet/shower facilities
- Problematic contingency arrangements if a visitor or volunteer falls ill during the competition
We know that this decision will come as a relief to some and a disappointment to others – and probably a mix of the two for many of you. We’re of course keen to make sure that a decision to cancel a competition doesn’t turn into a decision to stop all racing, so we’ve been working with other competition teams to put on some organised competitive flying that you will be able to take part in from your own airfield. We’ll announce more details about this very soon.
We have also started the discussion with the BGA Competitions Committee to make sure that all of you will be able to fly the Juniors in 2021, even if 2020 would have been your final year as a Junior.
We are hoping to run the Junior Nationals & Cotswold Regionals together in 2021. On this basis we invite you to keep your entry for next year’s Regionals with the deposit you’ve already paid. If this situation changes, we will of course let you know, and if you would prefer to withdraw your entry now, then we are happy to refund your deposit.
We thank you for your patience during these challenging times and we wish you the very best for the rest of the 2020 season. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.