A date change for the 2016 Formula 1 race in Melbourne, Australia could spell trouble for the 2016 Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships as these two events now collide on March 20.
Until earlier this month the Australian Grand Prix Corporation had been selling tickets for a March 31 - April 3 time slot, but they moved the date 2 weeks forward to March 17-20 and that came as a big surprise to the World Triathlon Corporation as their March 20th date for Melbourne has been in place for a long time now.
No decision has been made as to how this will be handled, but Ironman no longer allows people to register for the event, which is not yet sold out.
According to a letter sent to registered Ironman Melbourne athletes, Ironman is currently talking with their key event partners and the Victorian Government to understand the ramifications of this development and work on a solution.
"As you may already be aware, it was recently and publicly announced by the Formula One organizers, that the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has changed its date to March 20 in 2016. This date is now once more in direct conflict with the approved and scheduled Ironman Asia-Pacific Melbourne race date.
Ironman Asia-Pacific was first made aware of this change through media reports, and they were shocked and disappointed with the news, having already been forced to shift the event date once earlier this year. Upon receiving this information, we immediately contacted key event partners and the Victorian Government to better understand how this situation occurred and also what the implications are for the planned delivery of Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship on Melbourne on our approved event dates. Our discussions are ongoing and it remains our highest priority on behalf of our registered athletes and brand to negotiate and understand the options available and the impacts of this decision. At this point in time, we have acted to temporarily suspend the race entries for the event so as not to expose any additional athletes to uncertainty in making race and travel plans.
Please be assured that we have made no final decisions with relation to the event and potential further date changes at this time. We simply do not have sufficient information from the various parties involved in planning our event. Any social media commentary suggesting that decisions have been made around the event future are pure speculation and we commit to you that the first information and updates will be communicated directly with our athletes and through the Ironman.com website and social accounts.
We remain totally committed to protecting our Asia-Pacific Championship event and our athletes from further disruption to your race planning.
Please feel free to contact our athlete services team on email@example.com with any questions or concerns you have in the interim.
Chris Jarvis, Event Director
Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne"
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation apologized to the Formula 1 fans for the inconvenience of moving the race up by two weeks, but made no mention of any disruption to other events.
Image above © Eric Wynn / slowtwitch.com