Coronavirus: Southern 100 road races on Isle of Man are cancelled

Dean Harrison racing in 2018
Dean Harrison has dominated the event in recent years, taking five victories last year and three in 2018

The Southern 100 road races due to take place in July on the Isle of Man have been cancelled, organisers have announced.

The 2020 event has been called off because of the impact of the coronavirus on availability of medics.

"We would have insufficient cover to run the races on the scheduled dates or any other," race organisers said in a statement.

The Isle of Man TT in June has also been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Organisers said: "After consultation with the club's Chief Medical Officer regarding the availability of doctors and paramedics to cover the races, many of whom travel from the UK, that it is unlikely that they will able to leave their respective positions."

Many island-based medics would be "similarly occupied" at Noble's Hospital and Ramsey Cottage Hospital and would be "unlikely to be allowed to take leave".

A mandatory 14 day self-isolation period for anyone arriving on the island could also lead to a shortage of race marshals for the event, organisers added.

"The committee felt it was better to take this decision now, rather than defer on a monthly basis in the hope that medical cover would become available at the last minute.

The statement said: "Whilst it is a major disappointment for the race organisers, we know that the announcement will be met with a similar response from competitors and race fans who enjoy attending the 'friendly races' year on year."

The Southern 100 was scheduled to take place on the Billown Course in the south of the island from 6-9 July.

Organisers previously announced the 2020 Pre-TT Classic and Post TT races on the same course, due to take place in May and June respectively, had also been called off in the wake of the cancellation of the TT races.