The ILS Event Management Committee (EMC) has been engaged in extensive contingency planning for the LWC 2022 events due to be held in Riccione in September/October 2022.
It is clear that while the current position with the Covid-19 Pandemic has improved in recent months in some areas of the world, progress is not consistent in all countries and the situation going forwards to 2022 is not certain. This has made planning any event very difficult. The EMC has considered the following:
- Access criteria to enter Italy for those participating in international sporting events
- Exit and return criteria from those countries where traditionally the majority of LWC participants will travel from
- Covid behaviour protocols within Italy, including vaccination status, ongoing testing requirements while in-country, equipment handling, mask wearing, social distancing requirements etc
- Venue capacity restrictions for sporting events in Italy, including in-water social distancing rules
- Local transportation rules and restrictions
Based on the most up to date information we have, and in consultation with FIN colleagues, the EMC has concluded that, while some LWC 2022 events can take place, other events cannot be held because of the difficulties of working within the Covid-19 behaviour protocols that are likely to be in place in Italy in 2022. We must also point out that the continuing uncertainty with the pandemic means that if the situation deteriorates significantly, the provisional schedule that we are announcing today may still be further revised.
Revised LWC 2022 Competition Schedule for events that will take place
The EMC is confident that the following events can take place, although the original schedule will change as additional days have to be added to the programme to manage the event within the expected Covid-19 restrictions:
o the full programme of pool and ocean events (but not Surfboats) from Wednesday 21/09/2022 to Monday 26/09/2022
o the whole programme needs to be brought forward by 2 days.
- National Teams Open and National Teams Youth
o the full programme of pool and ocean events from Tuesday 27/09/2022 to Sunday 02/10/2022
o an additional two competition days will be required
o because of the restrictions, the SERC competition that is usually part of these Championships will not be held
We recognise that those teams and individuals who will participate in these events may need to amend their accommodation bookings to take account of the additional days that need to be added, or the earlier Masters’ start date, but the additional time is essential to be able to manage both these events safely within the Covid- 19 restrictions that will be in place.
Cancelled Championships and Events
Unfortunately this means that the following Championships and events cannot be held at LWC 2022:
- National Teams Open SERC and National Teams Youth SERC
- Interclub Teams Open and Interclub Teams Youth
- Interclub Teams Open SERC and Interclub Teams Youth SERC
- Interclub IRB
- National Teams IRB
- Surfboat Interclub
- Surfboat Masters
The decision to cancel any LWC event is not taken lightly, and it is with great regret that we have to take this action. The EMC realises that this will be a great disappointment to those competitors who had planned to participate in the cancelled events. However, we believe that in the circumstances this the best option that we can take to ensure that there are some LWC 2022 events held. A reduced LWC 2022 is better than no LWC 2022 at all.
The cancellation of these events for LWC 2022 is only because of the effects of the pandemic and not for any other reason. We can also confirm that the full programme of LWC events will be held in LWC 2024 on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. See also below at Section 7 about other opportunities for Interclub competitors.
Refunds for cancelled events
For those who had made accommodation bookings and paid entry fees for those Championships and events that are cancelled, FIN has confirmed that a full refund of payments made will be provided. Details of how to access those refunds and the timescale will be provided separately throughout November by Orion in a specific communication directly to all those who have made their bookings and paid entry fees.
International Lifesaving event for Interclub competitors
The ILS and the host organisation, FIN, both acknowledge that for Interclub competitors there is a big gap between the last LWC that was held in 2018 and the next that will feature their events in LWC 2024.
In order to provide an opportunity to Interclub Open and Youth competitors to try to bridge that gap and experience some world-level international competition FIN has agreed to host an International Lifesaving event for any Interclub competitors who wish to participate in individual events only in the following age groups:
- 15 to 19 – Under 20 in the year of competition
- 20 to 24 – Under 25 in the year of competition
- 25 to 29 – Under 30 in the year of competition.
These will take place alongside the LWC 2022 Masters events during the period from 21/09/2022 to 26/09/2022. Further information on these events will be provided separately in the next few days.