The 2020 National Road Rally
As a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the National Road Rally organisers were forced to postpone the traditional July event and look at organising an alternative event later in the year. As the UK lockdown restrictions have gradually been lifted, the National Road Rally organisers are now in a position where they can host an event that will enable riders to opportunity to get out on there bikes while still maintaining social distancing and adhering to the governments guidelines and restrictions.
What is different for 2020?The first difference between the 2020 National Road Rally and previous events is that the 2020 event will be a daytime only event, starting between 9am and 10am and finishing at 8pm on Saturday 12th September. The decision to limit it to a daytime only event is a result of the shorter daylight hours in September, in early July there are typically around 17 hours of daylight and sunrise is around 4:30am, in mid September, there are 5 hours less daylight and sunrise is nearer 6:30am.
The next difference is that, in order to maintain social distancing, there will be no manned controls in the 2020 National Road Rally, instead at each control location, a National Road Rally sign will be put up with a unique code printed on it. Competitors will be required to make a record of each unique number along with the control name in order to demonstrate that they have visited the control. After the event, competitors will need to log in to the National Road Rally website and enter the codes for each of the controls they have visited. While the latest relaxation of restrictions could allow for manned controls, at the time of applying for an event permit, the restrictions where still in place and the permit would not likely have been granted, additionally, even with the easing of restrictions, the National Road Rally organisers would have had to ensure that sufficient PPE was provided to all controls, the logistics and costs of this would have prevented the event from taking place.
One final difference with the 2020 National Road Rally is that all correspondents and documents will be supplied electronically either via email or to download via the website. In previous years the Matrix, Control Booklet and Control Card have been posted to each competitor around 2 weeks prior to the event, for 2020, all of these documents will be made available electronically via the website, 5 days prior to the event. The shorter 5 day window to receive the Matrix and Control information is because the Insurance company covering the National Road Rally require riders to sign on at the start of the event, this would normally be done at the start control. Because all of the controls are virtual, it is not possible to have a physical sign on sheet at each control, therefore, before riders are able to download the Matrix and Control infomation, they will have to sign on electronically and agree to the disclaimer, failure to do so will mean riders are not insured and will not be able to enter their results after the event. The insurance company has insisted that riders cannot sign on anymore than 5 days before the event. Additionally, when entries reopen in August, we will only be accepting online entries, the National Road Rally committee is comprised predominantly of volunteers, with the ACU providing a paid office assistant who organises and co-ordinates the issuing of all the documentation and postal entries. Unfortunately, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ACU were forced to furlough a number of staff including the assistant who normally supports the National Road Rally.
Do I have to enter again?If you entered the National Road Rally before entries were closed due to Covid-19 then by default your entry will be carried over to the new event. You will keep the same number and the team code you were provided on entering will be your rider code which you will need to download the Matrix etc. Don't worry if you have lost the confirmation email, a facility will be provided on the website to retrieve your code.
If you entered by mail and you have access to the internet then you will still be able to download the Matrix before the event and enter your route afterwards. If you provided an email address on your paper entry form, you will be able to use the online facility to access your code, alternatively if you didn't provide an email address, you will be able to contact the organisers and they will update your entry details with an email address.