Assessing the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading since March, the potential risks and the measures implemented by health officials, the Régates de Valleyfield organizing committee has decided, with a heavy heart, to cancel the racing portion of its 2021 edition, which was planned for July 16 to 18, 2021.
Concerned with the health and safety of the racing teams, partners, festival goers, and its volunteers and employees, the organization must come to the realization that holding an event with thousands of fans gathering at the Delpha-Sauvé Park is not realistic.
“Despite its inevitability, I am saddened by this cancellation, for a second year, of an international event that is an important economic driver for our city, mentioned the Mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Mister Miguel Lemieux. I share the dismay of the attendees, racing teams, volunteers and organizing committee.”
Many logistic factors also made it impossible to hold the event. A number of drivers and their teams come from the United Stated, and the uncertainty around, for instance, the opening of the border, was too important to be ignored.
The cultural portion
In addition to being the most anticipated racing weekend for hydroplane drivers, the Régates de Valleyfield are also a cultural event for the festival goers. The organizing committee is therefore reflecting on ways to maintain some of the elements of the artistic portion, while still complying with government measures.
“The hydroplane racing fan in me is disappointed, but we are still working to offer something to our faithful spectators, explains Émilie Daoust, General Manager of the Régates de Valleyfield. And we are, of course, already planning 2022, which aims to be a spectacular edition!”
The post-COVID recovery
The economic and touristic recovery counts, among other things, on major events like the Régates de Valleyfield. In addition to playing an important role in the local, regional and provincial economy, the Régates de Valleyfield also greatly participate in the commercial and touristic health of the Beauharnois-Salaberry RCM.
As a member of the Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (RÉMI), the organization and board of directors of the Régates de Valleyfield are therefore joining a campaign to ensure the sustainability of festivals and major events in the province of Quebec, and are working to put on a 2022 edition that measures up to its ambitions.