The North West 200 motorcycling event has been cancelled again this year.
The organisers of the hugely popular event, which brings thousands of racing fans to the north west each year, announced this morning it will not go ahead because of the pandemic.
A spokesperson for the organisers said: “The official advice from government and public health officials has made it clear the effects of Coronavirus will remain with us for some considerable time to come, despite the roll out of the vaccination programme.
“In those circumstances, and after much consideration, the Club committee feels it would be impossible to run this year’s event.
“A contingency plan that involved delaying race week from May until August has been given full consideration.
“However, with so much time, expense and personnel involved in the planning and preparation of the NW200, the risk in pursuing such a plan is too great because of continued uncertainty around both the effects of the virus on our community and the extent of the restrictions aimed at suppressing it.”
The spokesperson continued: “It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the organisers to limit the number of people who travel to the area during race week which, in turn, could pose a significant risk to the local population. That is a situation that cannot be contemplated.
“Although extremely disappointing, the decision to cancel the NW200 for the second year in a row is the only responsible course of action the Coleraine Club can take.
“We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all of our loyal sponsors, officials and volunteers for their understanding and support.
“We also apologise for any inconvenience caused by the cancellation and hope that this timely intervention can assist the teams and competitors who would normally take part in to our event in making alternative plans.”
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