Firstly, we hope you are keeping healthy, managing to get some training done and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Up until now we have been holding off on making a final decision regarding the 2020 Eastbourne Triathlon in the hope of giving ourselves the best possible chance of making the event happen. However, it is with great regret that we have now made the decision to postpone the 2020 Eastbourne Triathlon until Sunday 6th June 2021.
This decision has not been taken lightly and a great many factors have been considered. We have been speaking at length with key stakeholders, including the BTF and local council, whose full support continues to be essential in order for us to deliver the event.
Another key factor is ensuring the long-term goodwill of the local community here in Eastbourne and taking into consideration the wider public perception of our sport. We have also considered our ability to guarantee adequate medical support and sufficient volunteers to ensure a safe event.
Whilst we are hugely disappointed that the race can’t happen this year, we are very much looking to the future and still have some very exciting plans for the year ahead:
We can now announce that the date for the 2021 Eastbourne Triathlon is now confirmed as Sunday 6th June 2021, with a new TriStars children’s aquathlon and GoTri novice aquathlon both taking place on Saturday 5th June. For those who were already entered into this year’s Eastbourne Triathlon, you will have the choice to either compete on the new date (6th June 2021) or transfer the value of your entry to one of our other events. Full details of the process for transferring entries will be emailed to all entrants in the next few weeks.
For those who have entered specifically for the GB Age-Group Team Qualifier, we can confirm that the BTF have assured us that our event will retain it’s GB Age-Group Team Qualifier status in 2021, however the Championship which the event will offer qualification for is to be confirmed and is subject to confirmation of Championship dates from the ITU and ETU. Whilst yet to be confirmed, it is expected that the 2021 Eastbourne Triathlon will also remain part of the South East Region Senior Series.
After many months of planning, we can now announce our plans for a new cross-triathlon which will take place at the beautiful Cuckmere Haven, with challenging mountain bike and run routes through Friston Forest. Subject to restrictions being lifted and social distancing measures being implemented this event will take place on Sunday 30th August 2020. Please see www.xbourne.com for more details.
This event is planned to take place on Saturday 10th October 2020. Please see www.eastbourneduathlon.co.uk for more details.
The postponed IronBourne Triathlon races have now been fully confirmed to take place on Sunday 18th July 2021. Please see www.140.6miles.co.uk for more details. For those who were already entered into this year’s IronBourne Triathlon, you will have the choice to either compete on the new date (18th July 2021) or transfer the value of your entry to one of our other events. Full details of the process for transferring entries will be emailed to all entrants in the next few weeks.
It is with considerable sadness that we make this announcement to postpone the Eastbourne Triathlon, but please rest assured that we remain fully committed to providing you with the very best multisport racing experiences at all our events later this year and for many years to come. Your support during these difficult times has been humbling and is very much appreciated.
Stay safe and take care
Mat Dowle and Dale Anderton
Last week, we sent a questionnaire to all of our 2020 competitors asking for your views on whether or not we should cancel our events this year due to COVID-19. The response was overwhelming with over 400 of you taking the time to complete the questionnaire. Many thanks, especially to those who took the time to share many very thoughtful comments which have been extremely useful.
We have studied your responses in detail and considered every comment. We have also consulted with the British Triathlon Federation and local authorities. We will address each of our events separately below (Ironbourne full and middle distance first, followed by Eastbourne Triathlon sprint and standard distance).
For those entered into the Ironbourne full and middle-distance races, your responses were conclusive and in line with our own views. Given the option, 57% of you would choose not to race this year, even if the event were to go ahead as planned, and only 14% feel strongly that the event should go ahead. The majority also felt we should make the decision sooner rather than later.
It is clear that for many, the level of training required for longer distance racing is not possible during these times, especially for key workers and those at high risk. Taking everything into consideration, we have decided to cancel the Ironbourne event (scheduled for 12th July) and postpone until next year.
Whilst our advertised terms and conditions to not require us to do so, we have decided that all competitors will be given the option to fully defer (with no additional cost) to next year’s event, which is provisionally scheduled to take place on Sunday 18th July 2021. For those unable to race in 2021, we will allow your entry to be transferred as credits towards any of our other events (Eastbourne Triathlon, TriBourneX and/or Eastbourne Duathlon).
Details on how to defer or transfer your entry will follow once our 2021 events are fully confirmed and we have a system in place to process requests. In the meantime, rest assured that your entry is safe and will be available for you to race next year.
With a significant portion of this year’s race budget already spent and unrecoverable, we regret that if we were to offer refunds it would leave us in a position where we simply wouldn’t have the funds available to deliver any future events. By deferring entries, we hope to delay the financial impact of the current situation until next year, by which time we should have recovered some of our losses.
Unlike the longer distance events, the level of training required for the sprint and standard distance events is less significant and more experienced athletes will be able to compete with significantly reduced training over the coming months. The responses to our questionnaire reflect this, with a majority of 55% still wanting to race in July and 65% suggesting that, with 14 weeks still to go, it is too soon to make a decision.
With the event as an ETU qualifier, we also feel a responsibility to deliver the event on behalf of the British Triathlon Federation, if at all possible. With this in mind, our decision will be very much guided by the advice of the BTF.
At this stage, we will continue to plan for the race to take place on the 11th July and review the situation in consultation with the BTF over the coming few weeks. Key financial commitments (medals, t-shirts, etc.) will need to be made in early May, so we would hope to have a final decision within the next 4 weeks. We have suspended entries for the time being and will only reopen entries if and when we are confident that the event will take place.
As previously announced, particularly with key workers and those at high risk in mind, a deferral option is available if you feel you are unable to race on the 11th July. If a significant number of people take this option to defer, it will impact the viability of delivering the event this year, and for this reason the deadline for making this deferral will be the 1st May. We will send instructions to all entrants during the next week with details of how to request this deferral. If we are forced to cancel the event this year, all competitors will again be given the option to fully defer (with no additional cost) to next year’s event, which is provisionally scheduled to take place on Sunday 6th June 2021. For those unable to race on this date, we would allow your entry to be transferred as credits towards one of our other events (Ironbourne, TriBourneX or Eastbourne Duathlon).
For those who have specifically entered for the ETU qualification opportunity, the BTF have confirmed that the event will retain its qualifier status if it goes ahead on the 11th July. If the event is postponed until 6th June 2021, it should still remain as a qualifier, dependant on the date of the 2021 ETU championships (yet to be announced). If not, it is expected that the 2021 Eastbourne Triathlon would become an ETU qualifier for the 2022 championships.
We remain passionate about bringing you the very best, athlete focussed race experiences and realising our dream of bringing a full distance triathlon to Eastbourne.
Although we share your disappointment, we are equally grateful for your continued support and we are very excited for the future. Our 2021 events will be even bigger and better, and we can’t wait to welcome you all across our TriBourne finish line as soon as possible.
Keep in touch, and if you have any comments or suggestions about this or next year’s events, please send us your feedback.
Wishing you and your loved ones all the best and good health
Mat Dowle and Dale Anderton