Statement from Otago Rally for competitors and supporters issued Sunday 15 March 2020
The recent announcements by the NZ Prime Minister to control the spread of the Covid 19 virus have had a considerable effect on the Otago Rally, planned to be held on 3-5 April.
Particularly, it is with real sadness that we realise the large contingent of international competitors, media and fans will no longer be able to attend. These enthusiasts have always been hugely valued and appreciated, and we have already been in contact with those affected competitors.
They are now dealing with unwinding the considerable logistics involved in competing at Otago, and while this situation is out of our hands, it is not something we would wish on anyone.
The intention is that the Otago Rally will be held, and the planning and organising continues.
There are 96 NZ teams entered, a fantastic number by any standards. The Asia-Pacific Cup component can likewise proceed as the field was solely Kiwi teams.
We recognise that the decision to continue is still subject to further restrictions that might be announced this week by the Prime Minister, or other authorities, and we will need to fully comply with these.
The essence of rallying competition is that it is not in a confined public space, but very dispersed in rural areas. If further public health directives are issued, these may well be focussed on density of public gatherings, and in this regard there are options to manage this, without requiring event cancellation. For example, later decisions can be made, if necessary, regarding the super stage and prizegiving dinner.
Individual competitors or spectators may choose, or need to, change plans and not attend, and we fully respect such decisions. If a competitor decides not to compete then we would appreciate knowing this as soon as possible.
We also stress that all involved take heed of the personal hygiene advice that has been well publicised.