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Cancellation - 15th IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships

Hong Kong

The IDBF Council convened a meeting on Saturday, 24 July 2021 to consider the ongoing implications of COVID-19 on our Championships.

In that meeting, the IDBF Council decided that:

  • The 15th IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships (WDBRC), to be held in November 2021 in Hong Kong, China is officially cancelled. The Hong Kong Organising Committee (HKOC) were also in total agreement with the cancellation of the Championships

  • The safety and welfare of athletes and everyone involved was paramount in the decision process

  • A replacement event was considered but the continued risk to the health and safety of the athletes, race officials and everyone involved would still be present at another location

  • The next IDBF Championships will now be the Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, USA in 2022.

Meetings with the HKOC, IDBF members (national dragon boat federations) and the IDBF Executive Committee, were also held to keep everyone informed on the status of the Championships and the impact of the virus. Concerns discussed by member federations included:

  • Restrictions on travel arrangements vary around the world and can be imposed by national governments at short notice - these decisions are outside the control of the IDBF or the HKOC

  • Several countries who participate in every WDBRC have indicated that restrictions by their own government prevent them for taking part

  • The vaccine rollout worldwide is patchy, with the young less likely to receive the vaccine.

This year is the 30th Anniversary of the IDBF and the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association. Hosting the Championships in Hong Kong would have been of a cultural and historical significance - a salute to the home of modern-day dragon boat racing. The IDBF would like to wholeheartedly thank the HKOC for their hard work, dedication, and commitment in the preparation of the Championships. We look forward to returning to Hong Kong in the future.

The situation with the pandemic has had a significant impact on our sport throughout the world. Other than this year’s WDBRC being cancelled, the European Dragon Boat Federation have also decided, earlier this week, to cancel their 2021 European Nations Championships for similar reasons. The Asian Dragon Boat Federation and Pan American Club Crew Championships have also been postponed.

Let us all hope that in 2022, the world re-opens and that we can all meet each other again in person to celebrate our sport at the next Championship.

In the meantime, I hope that everyone will remain safe and healthy

Yours in sport.

Mike Thomas

IDBF President