Countries of the World Benchrest Shooting Federation
Greetings to you all from South Africa.
I really trust that all are healthy and doing great.
I am sending you this email to update you on the planning of WBC16 (2021).
WBC16 was originally planned to take place in April 2021at the Riebeek Castle Shooting Range near Cape Town. Needless to say, Covid-19 has to date resulted in a much bigger than anticipated impact on our country and the rest of the world. South Africa has been in various stages of lockdown since March 2020. After deliberation with François Luciani and Graham Smith earlier this year, it was decided to postpone WBC16 until September 2021. This would give us some time to see where Covid-19 takes us. Unfortunately, September is not always the best time of the year for shooting in the Cape Town area as this is the infamous south-eastern wind time. Luckily,… or not, we will all be subjected to the same weather conditions. Due to the unpredictable and ongoing nature of the Covid pandemic, our agreement with the WBC management is that we will evaluate the pandemic situation in Nov/Dec 2020 and then make a final decision on the scheduling of the event.
In order to tie in with the planned scheduling of all the WBC events, we have two options regarding hosting dates of WBC16. Either we confirm our decision to schedule the event for September 2021,….or the event will be postponed to April or September 2023 in South Africa. This decision will be based, firstly and most importantly, on the anticipated safety of the competitors. It must be safe and possible to travel internationally to start with. Furthermore, we want to be as certain as possible that the pandemic will be under control in our country and in the rest of the world. We are all aware that the virus is more severe on the not so young. As a few of our competitors from over the world unfortunately falls in this category, we cannot and will not take any risk with the health of anybody. It is doubtful that the pandemic will be over soon, therefore we believe there must be an effective vaccine in place before we would expect participants to travel to South Africa. Regardless of the optimism in the world to have a vaccine ready soon, we will have to wait and see.
Currently, our borders are still closed, and only selective air travel is possible. The booking of accommodation and venues for sports events is still not possible. Currently all overseas visitors must go through a screening, testing and isolation process on arrival. No formal shootings competitions are allowed and no gatherings of more than 50 persons are allowed. We also have a curfew in place from 22h00 to 04h00. We really hope this will end at some stage.
Secondly, we need to give the participating countries enough time to prepare and go through their respecting team qualification and selection processes. There must also be enough time to plan and book the trips to South Africa, apply for VISA’s etc. Our government departments have started to open but work with minimum staff, so everything takes much longer. Some guidance on the preparation time required from the participating countries in this regard will be welcomed.
Our shooting ranges were closed for nearly six months during the lockdown period and so we have missed out on some of our important competitions for qualifying. We therefore also need to decide on the way forward.
Regarding the range improvements, we were interrupted by the lockdown period, but all are still on track.
We, in consultation with the WBC management, plan to send out a questionnaire in November 2020, to determine what the situations in the various countries are in order to make a final decision on the scheduling of the WBC16 event.
Hope this will give some guidance on our logic with the planning of WBC16.
Look after yourselves.
Kobus Visser (Pr Eng)
ERO Engineers (Pty) Ltd
P.O. Box 4344
Durbanville (South Africa)