The twelfth edition of this year's Cape Pioneer Trek has been postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The seven-day stage race and it's four-day adventure sister event were scheduled to take place in early September 2020.
The race was founded on strong ties to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo communities. Its race villages have frequently been hosted by local schools which have brought in invaluable funds for institutions like Van Kervel School in particular. The school for skills, in George, has hosted the race in each of its eleven editions thus far and was preparing to do so once more in 2020.
"The decision to postpone the Cape Pioneer Trek was particularly tough, as we are all-too-aware of the role it plays in the financial planning of our local partners," reflected Dryland's Henco Rademeyer.
"While the money the event brings in, for the schools, in particular, is very important; the completion of the academic year is clearly more so. Above and beyond the health and financial issues at stake, we had to keep in mind the disruption that setting up for and hosting stages of the race would cause the schools.
"Having built strong relationships with our host venues, service providers and sponsors over the years we are heartened by their support in this difficult time," Rademeyer added.
"Creating special events and memories is always the intention of Dryland Event Management. We were optimistic that we would be able to do so at the 2020 Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek.
"But little-by-little the reality of the situation has eroded that optimism. Like all our race entrants, we have been eagerly watching the news for any positive signs or clarity to cling to. The uncertainty created by the Covid19 pandemic has made planning for the near future nearly impossible, especially in an events space," Rademeyer stated.
"For international entrants in particular we understand how stressful this has been.
"Making an announcement now, 11 weeks out from the scheduled start, provides them with time to make the necessary arrangements. We trust that riders who were planning on visiting South Africa for the race will be able to cancel or defer their flight and accommodation bookings to 2021. The country’s tourism sector in general and the Southern Cape's, in particular, will need international visitors next year, so we hope that you will rather defer your trip than cancel it completely."
"The team will be in touch with each 2020 Cape Pioneer Trek entrant individually, over the coming days, to discuss the best solution for each rider. Most importantly though, we hope to see every 2020 entrant at a future edition of the Race With Soul," Rademeyer promised.
- Momentum Medical Scheme Cape Pioneer Trek