OFFICIALLY Manning River Rowing Club's Summertime Regatta that was due to start today has been postponed.
However, rowing club official Hugh McLeod admits the chances of the event being rescheduled are remote.
This means the club faces going another season without conducting its marquee regatta. Last January's regatta was cancelled due to a combination of problems, including COVID-19 restrictions and work on the clubhouse redevelopment.
Mr McLeod said the surge in Omicron cases around NSW forced the club to postpone racing.
"The inability to run a regatta with a reduced number of volunteers due to positive Covid cases and their close contacts was the deciding factor,'' the committee explained in a post on its Facebook page.
"Many of you have been training hard for this event and we know how disappointed you will be not to compete.''
Mr McLeod stressed that the club will work with Rowing NSW in an attempt to work the regatta into the calendar this season. But he admits finding a suitable weekend will be difficult.
The regatta is the year's first in the State and attracts rowers from around NSW, with strong representations from city clubs. Such is the event's popularity that the program starts on Friday afternoon and concludes on Sunday.
Mr McLeod said entries had been coming in solidly.
RELATED: Club readies for regatta
"And we always get a surge in the last few days before entries close,'' he added,
However the club is confident the Central District Championship will be rowed on the Manning in March. This will draw clubs from the Central Coast to Grafton.
"It's a smaller regatta and hopefully the COVID-situation will have settled down by then,'' Mr McLeod said.
He added consideration will be given to running some of the events scheduled for this weekend in conjunction with the championship.
Mr McLeod said one consolation is that work on the clubhouse redevelopment should be close to completed for next January's Summertime Regatta.
"That's something to look forward to,'' he said.