Due to global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Va’a Federation (IVF) and Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) have come to the difficult and mutual decision to cancel the 2020 IVF World Elite and Club Sprint Championships scheduled for Hilo, Hawaii, in August 2020.
The IVF World Sprint Championships held every 2 years is a highlight on our international paddling calendar, and the 2020 event already had entries from 21 countries. The decision to cancel was made taking into consideration the following:
• The unknown timelines that we are all facing in terms of travel restrictions and the impact of life as we know it;
• The overall health and safety of our global paddling community;
• In particular, our Pacific Island member countries who are less equipped to deal with a health crisis and face unique challenges in their healthcare systems;
• Member countries already heavily impacted by COVID-19;
• The risk to the host; HCRA, the people of Hilo and the State of Hawaii in general.
As an international federation, IVF has an obligation to ensure the safety of their membership and act in their best interests and in that of the sport of Va’a.
The IVF acknowledges and recognises the amount of work that HCRA and in particular, their local organizing committee, have done in preparation for the August event. In addition, how much they wanted to welcome the global paddling ohana to Hilo Bay. Having done everything possible, they are now faced with impossible circumstances.