New Zealand has withdrawn from hosting the 2022 ICF Ocean Racing World Championships.

The nation’s governing body Canoe Racing New Zealand made the announcement in a statement today, saying that current travel restrictions in place due to COVID mean that “the event cannot realistically go ahead” in Auckland next year.

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“To hold a viable World Champs requires a fully open New Zealand border for at least several months in advance of the event.” The statement reads.

“As Government advice has indicated this to be unlikely, we considered it best to cancel early to give the ICF and the new host plenty of time organise the 2022 event.”

“The ICF is working with other potential host nations on an alternative venue, which will be decided and announced as soon as possible.”

The Paddler understands that CRNZ informed the ICF of its position several months ago, but as it stands, a new host has not been named.

There have been suggestions that Portugal could now be awarded the rights after the 2019 World Championships were cancelled.

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Canoe Racing New Zealand acknowledges that this will come as “disappointing news” for its growing surfski community, but the organisation is pushing to host another World Championships in the coming years.

“CRNZ and the ICF are discussing the possibility of hosting the World Champs in Auckland in 2025.”

“We hope to have confirmation of this new date in late 2021.”