Organisers of New Zealand’s annual Leadfoot Festival event in Hahei, Rod and Shelly Millen, have confirmed that the meeting has been cancelled for 2021, citing New Zealand’s border restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is with a heavy heart that Rod and Shelly need to announce Leadfoot 2021 scheduled for 8 and 9 February will not be able to go forward due to the current border policies and requirements by the New Zealand government,” the event said, in a social media announcement.
Unless it’s rescheduled, it’s set to be the first year since the hill-climb’s inception in 2011 that the event won’t take place.
The Millens have been embroiled in a very public battle over a travel ban currently hanging over Shelly Millen. It was reported in July that the Pikes Peak legend’s wife had been declined entry to the country 16 times.
It was recently confirmed that Rod would be travelling to America to meet Shelly in California, with the pairing allowed to fly back to New Zealand as a couple.
“There doesn’t seem to be logic in the policies regarding spouses being reunited with their natural born NZ citizen partner. The bottom line is Rod needs to fly to California for Shelly to fly back with him,” explained a post on the Leadfoot Festival’s social media account.
“Not sure how that will stop Covid from entering the country. A perfectly healthy, nearly 70 year old, will leave the safety of NZ to fly into a pandemic just to be on the same flight for her return.
“On 5 September Rod will be flying to California to pick Shelly up and then will be required to complete the 14 day quarantine as his reward for being forced to leave the country. Maybe their expectation is couples will just stay apart. Not us, we are fighters and want to be together.”