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Whitehaven GrapeRide Rescheduled

In light of the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus, organisers of the iconic Marlborough cycling event, the Whitehaven GrapeRide have rescheduled the event to Saturday February 27th 2021. Announcing the decision today, event director Duncan Mackenzie said “we established the event with the aim of improving community physical activity and well-being through cycling. To proceed in the current climate would be contrary to the principles on which the event was founded”.

Mackenzie advised that all entries will be rolled over to the rescheduled date when he looked forward to welcoming new and returning riders to Marlborough for the 16th edition of the ride. “The rescheduling will be particularly disappointing for the youngsters entered in our first-ever kids event” he said. “When you’re that age it must seem like an eternity to wait for the chance to earn your event T-shirt and medal”.

Overseas riders from Canada, the United Kingdom, United States, Japan and Australia were ruled out of the event on Saturday when the Prime Minister announced the requirement for international arrivals to undergo a 14 day self-isolation period. “We understand that people will be disappointed in the rescheduling of the event but we’d rather the Whitehaven GrapeRide continues to grow its rich history in a positive vein and not as a vector for COVID-19. Whitehaven Wines, Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries, Mike Pero Real Estate, Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Wadsco Motorworld and the Vines Village are all community focussed supporters of the event and to proceed in this climate of uncertainty would not be in the best interests of our communities” he said.

We are mindful that many people have travel and accommodation that they may be able to save or change so we have pushed to get an answer before the scheduled Government announcement. As far as refunds go, unfortunately we don’t have a clear answer on that as there are many factors involved. We appreciate your patience as we work through all of this, and we will let you know as soon as we can. Entrants with travel booked via Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries can email bookings@bluebridge.co.nz or call them on 0800 844844 between 8am and 8pm seven days a week to have their bookings rescheduled to the new date without incurring any additional charges. Due to high traffic volumes please have your booking reference available when calling. We encourage entrants to make contact as soon as possible with their accommodation providers to rebook to the new date.

When asked how he felt about the decision to reschedule, the race director said “I’m disappointed but I’m sure the disappointment will be temporary and it’s more important that we play our part in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus within our country, there will be another day to ride our bikes”.

© Scoop Media

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