The team at Piper Boats has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation and has had to reach the difficult decision to cancel the Henley 2020 event.
The Piper Henley event has developed over the last 7 years into a very special event where owners, new and old, can get together in a relaxed environment. Existing owners bring their boats along for the weekend to welcome prospective new Piper owners on board. Owners are very proud of their Piper Boats and it is an event that we all look forward to. The Saturday night get together has spurned many good memories for everyone. It is an event that really does cement the family feeling of the Piper Boats owners.
It has become, along with the St Jean de Losne event, a very important part of our sales strategy. This year was due to be extra special with the launch of our latest 55L showboat and the arrival of the new 12C, a boat that has been designed by Andrew Wolstenholme, specifically for the River Thames.
Andrea and I, and a couple of the Piper team are currently in St Jean de Losne. We now face 2 weeks self-isolation on our return. Many of the visitors that we booked into the Henley event were also travelling to the event from mainland Europe.
Piper Boats was also aiming to host an event in St Jean de Losne in the middle of October. This had not been officially announced, but again plans for this have had to be shelved for the time being. Our existing owners have all been fantastic with the level of support they have offered but, in all honesty, I just feel it would be irresponsible to put everyone at risk in this current situation. The spirit of the event would be lost.
I understand that a lot of owners, both new and old, maybe disappointed with this news. My team and I will be putting extra efforts into meeting and greeting potential owners to offer personalised viewings. Although we can’t hold a major event like our Henley show, we can still absolutely offer viewings of our boats on the water and at our workshop whilst keeping to social distance regulations.
Just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate you. Andrea and I will remain in France for the next few weeks so that we can welcome interested parties to a selection of Piper Barges. Weekend workshop visits at Stoke on Trent and boat viewings on the Thames can also be organised.
The Piper Boats office and factory is on annual shutdown until the 1st September, but our emails will still be monitored during the shutdown and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.
We hope that everyone stays safe and look forward to 2021, where we hope to be back hosting the St Jean de Losne and Henley events. Nick has made a commitment to increase the alcohol budget for the events so I feel the need for a trip to Beaune now!
Simon and the Piper Boats Team