Monday June 1, 2020 – St. Catharines, ON
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Royal Canadian Henley Joint Commission along with its partners, Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) and the Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation (CHRC), regretfully announces the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta (RCHR) scheduled to take place August 2-9, 2020, in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Ultimately, prioritizing the health and well-being of our rowing community takes precedence during these extraordinary circumstances. Due to the ongoing restrictions outlined by our provincial and national health authorities, it is also impractical to stage this pinnacle event in 2020.
Bill Schenck, Henley Commissioner, said, “It is with much sadness and regret that the Henley Commission has agreed that the 2020 regatta must be cancelled. This decision has weighed heavily on the Commission. In the 139 years of regatta history, we have only suspended racing once. This was for three years, 1916 to 1918, because of World War I.”
“The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is international in its draw and calibre with local support from so many dedicated volunteers,” said RCA President Carol Purcer. “It was a difficult decision to make, but a necessary one for the safety of the athletes as well as the many local volunteers that run this event. While we know it will be disheartening for many of the rowers from around the world, we look forward to reuniting with everyone when it is safe to do so.”
Wayne Dick, President of the CHRC said, “Co-hosting the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is the highlight of every year for the CHRC’s dedicated volunteers. While we are disappointed that the event will not happen in 2020, everything our volunteers do is motivated by a desire to benefit our amateur athletes young and old and in that spirit, we recognize, without hesitation, that the cancellation of the regatta is the right thing to do. The safety of our athletes and volunteers is the first consideration. We look forward to 2021.”
“We know this pandemic has changed how we go about our daily lives in our city. We’ve seen many events we treasure, like the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, affected, but protecting the health and safety of our community is the priority,” said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. “The Henley is an important part of our City’s history and sporting community, and I know organizers and competitors will come back stronger in future years.”
RCA is aware of the many disruptions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and continues to strongly encourage our communities to abide by the recommendations issued by government authorities. We continue to work closely with RCA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike Wilkinson to support our community and event hosts throughout this challenging period.