World Solar Challenge 2021 cancelled
This week, the organisation of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge has made the decision to cancel this year's race due to the many risks and uncertainties that the COVID-19 pandemic brings along. As devastated as we are, we fully accept and respect the organisation's decision. In order to keep the spirits lifted, we are now in the process of gathering our thoughts and exploring alternatives.
Telling the team
Wednesday evening, late at night, our managers Aymar and Calvin had a meeting with the organisation of the World Solar Challenge. They were told that the unfortunate decision had been made to cancel the race. Due to legislation of the Australian government and the enormous risks, it had become impossible for them to organize a safe event.
First thing in the morning, an emergency team meeting was set up to inform the rest of the Top Dutch team. We gathered the team members who were at the office and everyone who worked from home joined through a video call. Without beating around the bush, Aymar told us: "I have bad news, the race is officially cancelled."
Even though the risk of cancellation was relatively large, we have remained optimistic during the past months. Options such as team quarantining were explored by the organisation. Alongside, ever since we came home from the European Solar Challenge, we have been busy with designing and developing our new car. All parts have been designed with delicate precision and took long working days. So understandably, after hearing the news yesterday morning, it felt like a major setback. Smiles turned into frowns, trying to process the news.
Right now, we are working hard within the team to gather all thoughts and input. We are also consulting with sponsors and partners while fully focussing on the future. Because the battle for climate change never stops.
Additionally, we are talking to other European teams to explore the opportunities to organize a race of our own. We are keeping all the options open and are determined to keep going.
Though the situation is dire, we are confident in our perseverance as a team. Though we might not race in Australia this year: we will race again!