Saturday 4 July 2020

Rally - Mull Cancelled

No real surprise, but still painful, the organisers of the 2020 Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally have announced the cancellation of their October event.

Clerk of the Course Andy Jardine admitted the decision was dictated by ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. He said: “It was looking good for a while. October seemed so far off and things were opening up again, but now the end of July is looming and we just can’t commit to running the rally not knowing how the situation will develop. It’s tough for the team as we put a lot of effort into developing different ways to work with the coronavirus restrictions, but it isn’t practical to cover all the eventualities and keep everybody safe.

Mull Car Club Chairman, Fred Maclean added: “While some of the island is preparing for some sort of tourist season in the weeks ahead, there remains uncertainty and many places are not opening. Mull has remained apparently COVID-free throughout the lockdown period and there is a nervousness about what might happen when visitors return. This is the right decision for Mull and to ensure the rally is welcomed back in, hopefully, happier times in 2021.”

No surprise really given the ongoing uncertainty of the progress of the COVID-19  carry-on. And with the Scottish Government pursuing different tactics from the Westminster mob, there is added uncertainty about the way forward. And then again, there is the underlying threat of a second spike in infections.

On top of that there are the FIA's extra restrictions being placed on the sport of rallying and the added responsibilities (and costs!) which will have to be undertaken by organisers to promote a safe event.
If stage rallying is to return soon, then the way forward is likely to be 'Closed Public Roads' before forest use is allowed.

On that basis the proposed Coast to Coast Rally (which was due to run on the 25th of this month) may well provide the ideal template going forward - three stages, used three times and a huge central service area. Also, there might be more demand on MOD roads for 'single-venue' events and maybe the Government could assist with permissions there just to help get the sport back on the road.

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