The administrators of the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF) have decided that “it’s not feasible or sensible to run a 2021 race” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The general expectation of expert epidemiologists is that the pandemic will continue to rage well into 2021. For example, the British government has announced that they expect severe restrictions, including the bans on public events, to be in place for another half year. We think that DisCon III likely will be one of the first large conventions after the pandemic has been successfully beaten back or we have learnt how to live with it. Our concern is with having a TAFF race in the midst of the pandemic, without any physical conventions to attend. It would be much more difficult to enthuse people and get them to vote and to donate.
Postponing the race reduces the uncertainty for the eventual westbound TAFF delegate, and it greatly increases the probability that Michael Lowrey—this year’s TAFF winner—will get to take his postponed trip first. We don’t want to increase the inventory of TAFF delegates waiting to travel.
The 2021 race was intended to send one fan from Europe to DisCon III, the 79th Worldcon, to be held August 25-29, 2021 in Washington DC. The 2022 race will send one fan from Europe to Chicon 8, scheduled for September 1-5, 2022 in Chicago IL.
For more information, see the official press release.
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