It is with a heavy heart that the ERCU Board of Directors today announces that the 2020 racing season, which had just gotten underway, has been suspended through August.
"While the restrictions and guidelines from the Governor made it pretty clear we just can't go racing, it is always a hard decision to stop the passion of our members in its tracks by canceling or suspending racing," said ERCU Board Chair Nelson Holmberg. "No one WANTS to suspend racing - especially after just getting the season started with two great races - but it clearly is the smart thing to do."
Just days after the successful completion of the Diamond Cup and the Champion Spark Plug Regatta at Woodland Creek Community Park in Lacey, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered that all phase 3 counties (which includes Thurston and Lewis, where we have race sites), are limited to outdoor gatherings of no more than 10. The limit had previously been 50. The governor also ordered that there are to be no indoor or outdoor "live performances" until further notice. This order is even despite the dramatic efforts made by our club and others like us to wear masks, even outdoors, physically distance and conduct proper hand hygiene all weekend long.
"Those who attended the Diamond Cup and Champion Spark Plug Regatta last weekend were awesome in their response and adherence to the health and safety guidelines put in place by the club and by the state," Holmberg said. "And, coincidentally, we also had some really great racing and a lot of fun."
As the board weighed this most recent information, it seemed like there was no choice but to suspend the season. By consensus of the board, effective immediately, the 2020 ERCU season has been suspended through August 2020. The board will meet in August to reassess the situation and make a decision about racing in September and into the fall. It is likely - though no formal decision has yet been made - that the races that will be missed in July and August will not be rescheduled.
"Jerry has done such a great job as race coordinator this year," Holmberg said. "He's probably built, start-to-finish, five different season schedules for us this year, and he's been diligent in trying everything to make a racing season possible for us. To ask him to keep doing that during the ever-changing pandemic simply isn't fair."
Thank you for your patience and your understanding.