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Refresh . . . Waimate 50 president Rob Aikman said cancelling this year's event was a tough call to make, but would allow for more time to plan the 2021 event. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

Cancelling this year’s Waimate 50 was a tough but sensible decision, event organiser Rob Aikman says.

With ongoing uncertainty around whether fans and drivers would be able to make it to the annual Labour Weekend motor-sport event, the committee decided to make an early call to cancel it, Mr Aikman said.

“We still have a tremendous amount of support out there, from drivers and sponsors and from the local council. We are pretty stoked about that,” Mr Aikman said.

“We really just want to focus on next year.

“I’m pretty happy about the future, as long as the world settles down, we will look OK.”

Mr Aikman said he had been “overwhelmed” by all of the messages of support he had received from all over the country.

“Everybody is gutted but they all understand,” he said.

Some sponsors had indicated they were not in a financial position to support the event this year, but would continue to support it in the future.

On a personal level, Mr Aikman said the break would be a chance to refresh after what had been a huge undertaking in recent years.

“We are going to take that break and some good things will come out of it, I’m sure,” he said.

“It allows us a bit more time to get our planning in [for 2021], which we don’t [usually] get.”

Since 2010, when the event was rekindled, it had grown to the point where last year, Infometrics reported it contributed $1 million to the Waimate economy.