Southern 100 organisers Southern 100 racing, have officially announced today that the event widely known as the ‘Friendly Races’ will not run in 2020 due to a lack of medical cover brought on by the Coronavirus outbreak.
A statement released today by Southern 100 Racing, stated the following:
“Southern 100 Racing held a meeting of its senior race officials on Wednesday evening 18th March to discuss the running of the 2020 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races either on the scheduled dates of 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th July or possibly postpone them until later in the year.
It was decided after discussion regarding the present and on-going situation regarding the Coronavirus 19 crisis and the announcement by the Isle of Man Government’s Chief Minister earlier today that the current situation could continue for at least a further six months and after consultation with the club’s Chief Medical Officer regarding the availability of Doctors and Paramedics to cover the races, many of whom travel from the UK, that it is unlikely that they will able to leave their respective positions, we would have insufficient cover to run the races on the scheduled dates or any other.
The Doctors, Paramedics and other medical people who live on the Island will be similarly occupied at Nobles & Ramsey Cottage Hospital and other Medical practices and will like their UK counterparts will be involved with the COVID-19 cover and unlikely to be allowed to take leave.
Added to the lack of medical cover there is also the likelihood of a shortage of Race Marshals due to travel restrictions presently in place which may well be increased between now and July and could result in less than the required number of marshals available to man the 4.25-mile Colas Billown Course.
It was therefore decided by the Race Committee, very reluctantly to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races.
The Committee left it was better to take this decision now, rather than defer on a monthly basis in the hope that Medical cover would become available at the ‘last minute’.
Whilst it is major disappointment for the race organisers, we know that the announcement will be met with a similar response from competitors and race fans who enjoy attending the ‘friendly races’ year on year and Southern 100 Racing look forward to welcoming you all back to the Billown Course in 2021.
This also means that the postponement of the Blackford’s Pre-TT Classic Road Races announced in a Media Release on Monday 16th March are now also cancelled. Competitors who have entered will be contacted by the Race or Club Secretary in the next few days.”
Photo by Mark Corlett
The cancellation of the showpiece event on the high speed, challenging, worldwide popular Billown course is the latest blow for pure road racing in 2020.
Lets keep positive though, as I stated in a previous article referring to the TT 2020 cancellation;
In tough times like this, it’s when we as the pure road racing community show how resilient we are.
Yes there’s no racing, yes there’s no lap records, no race records but let’s keep positive and remember situations don’t last forever and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
Words by Stevie Rial