Op de valreep, de avond voor aanvang, heeft de Southampton City Council de toestemming ingetrokken voor de watersportbeurs BOATS2020. De ‘not for profit’ watersportbeurs zou van 11-20 september worden gehouden. Het had een geheel aan coronaregels aangepaste versie van de Southampton Boat Show moeten worden, met meer dan 90 boten in het water en 60 exposanten op de kade. Tickets konden uitsluitend via de website worden gekocht, bezoekers moesten een mondkapje dragen en twee meter afstand houden. De looppaden en steigers waren op vijf meter breedte gemaakt. Alles was zorgvuldig afgestemd met het stadsbestuur.
Lees hier het officiële persbericht van de zwaar teleurgestelde organisatie:
“British Marine regretfully announces that BOATS2020 has been cancelled.
At 6.34pm on Thursday 10 September, on the eve of opening day, British Marine received the devastating news from Southampton City Council that the show could no longer go ahead due to the rising risk of COVID-19 and growing Government fears.
The show, due to take place from 11-20 September 2020, was set to open on Friday following extensive work in collaboration with Southampton City Council to ensure that the existing Public Health England COVID-19 secure requirements were met.
We understand that the MDL Ocean Village event has also been cancelled.
Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said; “We are desperately disappointed that BOATS2020 will no longer be taking place, especially receiving the news at the eleventh hour before opening. A tremendous amount of work has been put in and it was heartening to see committed exhibitors on-site today getting geared up for opening.
“British Marine has remained committed to staging this not-for-profit boat show to support the leisure marine industry and our host city of Southampton, and I am deeply saddened that it will now no longer be taking place. Alongside our exhibitors, we were ready to open a show that exceeded all safety requirements. We are truly perplexed as to why we are unable to run the show at least until Monday in line with the government restrictions imposed yesterday. The global pandemic and unprecedented times mean that the latest circumstances are beyond our control. Public health and safety come first and naturally, as the show organiser, British Marine must comply with all guidance.”
British Marine will be communicating with exhibitors, ticket holders and further stakeholders, and would like to thank all of them for continuing to support the event in these uncertain times.
We would like to offer all BOATS2020 ticket holders a credit against their ticket purchase* for Southampton International Boat Show 2021. As soon as tickets for this event are on-sale, we will get in touch with you via e-mail providing a redemption code so that you can easily apply the credit against the purchase of a ticket.”