Following the announcement last week regarding the decision on the 12th IDBF Club Crew World Championships (CCWC) in Aix-les-Bains (France), a number of questions were asked by athletes via email and on social media.
To help address these questions, we have put together a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
We hope that the FAQs provide some clarity on the decisions made and understanding behind the complex situation brought on by COVID-19.
Q1. What are the reasons behind the IDBF Council’s decision to cancel?
There is a strong probability that the pandemic will still be active in 2021. Until such time a vaccine is widely available, any large group activity is at risk. A vaccine and the global situation would need to be stable by late 2020 in order for athletes to effectively plan travel, and even earlier for the Organising Committee. When and if a vaccine is developed is subject for debate, but most reports suggest this will not happen in 2020.
Hence after much consultation and deliberation, taking into account the views of the athletes, our members and the current and future organising committees, the factors which have driven the decision to cancel were:
Athletes did not want two world championships in any given year
The economic effects of COVID-19 and people’s confidence in international travel will cause a reduction in the number of competitors for a CCWC in 2021
Aix-les-Bains is not a purpose designed regatta course and requires costly and significant infrastructure works which have increased the organisational costs
A reduction in the number of competitors could affect the overall financial viability of a championships in France
Grants and sponsorship for 2020 may not be transferrable to 2021, while Hong Kong have agreed funding for 2021
Travel restrictions may still be an issue for 2021, so a championship towards the end of the year has a better chance of success
Q2. Why was the event not postponed with our deposits transferred to 2021?
The view expressed by athletes from the Athletes Commission and supported by most national federations, was that it was not possible to hold two championships in 2021. With championships every year, postponement to a later year considering the views of athletes is not possible.
Travel restrictions may still be an issue for 2021, so a championship towards the end of the year has a better chance of success.
Q3. It was communicated that the €500 deposits was a part of the €1.4 million spent to run the Championships. Now the event has been cancelled, are we able to have the deposits refunded?
The budget to run the CCWC was around €1.4 million to organise the whole Championship. Only a proportion of this total budget has been spent, since the announcement was made in March that CCWC would not be held in 2020.
The IDBF acknowledges concerns raised by clubs regarding the refund of the €500 deposits, which were paid directly to the Organising Committee.
We are in talks with the Organising Committee and hope to come to an agreement that provides at least a partial refund.
Q4. Have you thought about the impact of the cancellation to European clubs who cannot afford or get visas to go to North America to compete in CCWC 2022?
The CCWC was in Europe 2014 Ravenna, 2018 Szeged and should have been France 2020 so it is the world outside Europe who has borne the travelling costs. One of the countries that always have high numbers in all our championships is Australia and they also have to incur significant costs every year.
Q5. Does the IDBF or Organising Committee carry any event insurance which will allow us to re-claim our hotel and travel expenses?
The IDBF insurers have informed us that we are not covered for event cancellation in these circumstances. The Organising Committee has confirmed that their insurance does not cover cancellation due to a pandemic. The IDBF insurance has also indicated that it will not provide cover for a similar situation in the future.
Q6. We have spent thousands of Euros on hotel accommodation. How can we get our hotel deposits returned?
We understand and acknowledge that getting accommodation deposits back is a challenge as each country has their own refund rules and laws that are different to what we would expect. The IDBF itself is also out-of-pocket, with a significant sum paid for hotel deposits.
One of the reasons why we made an official statement to cancel the event is to assist clubs with making claims from travel insurers or directly from hotels and airlines to have deposits returned.
Please contact your travel agent, online booking company or hotel directly for refund options. Check the cancellation policy of your hotel booking to make sure you are eligible for a refund. If you purchased any travel insurance, please check the policy terms and conditions or call your insurer for advice.
Q7. Our club qualified in 2019/2020 to attend the CCWC in 2020, will this qualification be carried over to 2022?
Qualification status is determined by each National Federation who provides IDBF with the list of qualifying clubs for each CCWC. Please contact your National Federation regarding their decision on the qualification process for 2022.
Q8. Who is the IDBF Council?
The IDBF Council consists of the IDBF Executive, Commission Chairs and five Continental Dragon Boat Federations and two associate organisations. They represent athletes and national federations who are members of IDBF. The Council comprises of 27 members.
The Commission Chairs represent: Paradragons, Athletes, Women, Youth, Sport for All, Entourage, Competition & Technical, Marketing & Media, Culture and Heritage, and Medical. The Continental Dragon Boat Federations comprise of European Dragon Boat Federation, Pan America, Asia, and Oceania. The associate members are the International Ice Dragon Boat Federation and the International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission.
IDBF CCWC 2020
International Dragon Boat Federation
See past IDBF news releases on COVID-19.
Subscribe to IDBF News for updates on CCWC2020.