Due to COVID-19 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta cancelled for first time since WWI

The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta has been cancelled for just the fourth time in its 139 years because of COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s regatta scheduled for Aug. 2-9 in St. Catharines, Ont., has been called off. The last time races didn’t happen from 1916 to 1918 because of the First World War.

“Due to the ongoing restrictions outlined by our provincial and national health authorities, it is also impractical to stage this pinnacle event in 2020,” Rowing Canada said in a statement Monday.

The international regatta attracts over 100 clubs each year.

“The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta is international in its draw and calibre with local support from so many dedicated volunteers,” Rowing Canada president Carol Purcer said.

“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.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.