The Schneider Air Race, due to take place on the Isle of Wight, had to be cancelled.
THE historic Schneider Air Race was cancelled last weekend amid airport politics on the Isle of Wight.
Fourteen aircraft and a full team of support staff arrived at Isle of Wight Airport, Sandown ready to run the 2012 edition of the highly prestigious event.
But race organisers, the Royal Aero Club Records, Racing and Rally Association (3R’s), said the last minute unavailability of fire cover due to a "political situation" at the airport meant they were unable to stage the event.
It will now be held in Alderney later this month, with a view to returning to the Isle of Wight next year.
A statement on the 3R’s website said: "Many people had travelled from various parts of Europe to be involved and although they were all most disappointed to have the race cancelled, everybody wished BN and Sandown Airport owners our kindest regards and thanks for even considering hosting the event and look forward to another occasion in the future."
Peter Earp, events and marketing co-ordinator for the Royal Aero Club, said the Schneider Trophy would not have been raced anyway due to Sunday’s poor weather.
He said: "I am sure this is a little blip and we have got nothing but kind words for everyone on the Island. Everything was handled in a very professional manner.
"We are very much of the opinion the Schneider Trophy belongs to the Isle of Wight and we really do hope we can race again on the Island."
It came as relations between Britten-Norman (BN), which took on the management of the airport in February last year, and Sandown Isle of Wight Airport Ltd, which owns the airport, appeared strained following lengthy negotiations over a new management lease.
The aircraft manufacturer left the site last week after terms could not be agreed.
The company, which continues to produce airframe components at Bembridge, said an Island runway was not required for its core business while the airport’s owners said the airfield would remain open with former owner, Dick Steele, at the helm.