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Why rallying to the cause may still not be enough

Being an event organiser is an all consuming job at the best of times, let alone in a country being ravaged by a global pandemic.

We’ve lost count of the number of sporting events that have been cancelled or postponed since March 2020, and that shows absolutely no signs of relenting in the coming months.

Rallying has been as hard hit as anything else, with everything from club events to national championship rallies being in the firing line.

The rally calendar is literally like a moving target at the moment. Forget hitting the bullseye, simply hitting the target is a feat on its own.

We can understand that event organisers are constantly looking into the future and trying to find new dates for their rallies. After all, they have sponsors, stakeholders and competitors to look after.

The impossible equation

What that seems to be creating, however, is a gluttony of rallies at the end of the year that will mean that none of the events are patronised by competitors as they should be.

Rallying is a voluntary sport – from the competitors down to the control officials – and there aren’t too many who can commit to multiple rallies in a month.

Of course we’d all love to be rallying every weekend, but those working need to arrange holidays or days off, and with an ever changing calendar, that’s nigh on impossible.

It’s just one of the many considerations organisers need to consider as we struggle through 2021.

Eighteen months on from the beginning of this pandemic, nobody thought that we’d still be in this predicament, and it’s getting worse, not better.

With almost 4,000 unlinked mystery cases of COVID-19 in NSW at present, there are real fears the state will hit daily case numbers of more than 2,000 if the current reproductive rate is not reduced.

A curfew is being considered in Sydney, and some experts are even suggesting that the NSW lockdown could last until late in the year.

This is a disastrous outcome for everyone, not just organisers of sporting events.

The line in the sand

After today’s 12-month postponement of the Alpine Rally, at some stage you feel that a line in the sand will need to be drawn, and that 2021 will be written off as unretrievable.

We all want our state and national championships to finish with a bang, but as we sit here on August 19, that’s looking less likely than a politician admitting they were wrong.

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Author

Peter Whitten

Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.
Peter has been the editor of RallySport Magazine since its inception in 1989, in both printed and online form. He is a long-time competitor, event organiser and official, as well as working in the media. In 2020 he received a Motorsport Australia 'Media Service Award'.