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Australian National and State Youth Championships update

by Michael Martin 31 Jul 04:31 PDT
2020 Australian Youth Championships © Beau Outteridge

2021 Australian Youth Championships

The 2021 Australian Youth Championships have regrettably been cancelled after a joint decision by Australian Sailing and host club the South of Perth Yacht Club and partner Club, Royal Perth Yacht Club).

The uncertainty created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, border closures and the impact of holding a national event in the current climate on the health and wellbeing of participants and members of the local community were identified as reasons for the cancellation of the 2021 Australian Youth Championships.

Alternative options including postponing the event were considered, but after reviewing the current travel and health restrictions in consultation with local and state authorities; and implications on other related events it was decided to give certainty to interested parties by expediting a decision.

The impact of the interstate travel restrictions meaning that some sailors would not have the opportunity to compete at a National Championship event was also considered in the decision.

Australian Sailing would like to sincerely thank South of Perth Yacht Club and Royal Perth Yacht Club for their commitment to hosting the event.

Australian Sailing will now review the impact of the event cancellation on the selection criteria for the Australian Sailing Youth Team to compete at the 2021 Hempel Youth Sailing World Championships. The cancellation will also impact athlete qualification criteria for State Institute Scholarship programs, the Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Squad, with a decision on how to manage the impact to be communicated in due course.

2020 NSW Youth Championships

The 2020 NSW Youth Championships, scheduled to be held at Point Wolstoncroft this October, is also regrettably cancelled as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSW currently has a restriction on mass gatherings of more than 500 people, and with close to 1,000 attendees anticipated the decision was made to cancel this year's edition of the regatta.

A number of alternatives were considered, including staggered race sessions, but with the standing NSW Government public health order requiring an exemption to host mass gatherings of more than 500 people it was deemed that at this point in time there is no imperative to hold an event that is non-essential.

Full refunds will be provided to families who have booked accommodation for the NSW Youth Championships at the Sport & Rec Centre. For those impacted, please email to request a refund.

Other State Youth Championship events

The 2020 Tasmanian, Queensland, South Australian and Western Australian Youth Championships are currently all scheduled to proceed as planned as they meet all current relevant State and Federal health guidelines regarding hosting events.

Australian Sailing recognises the importance of youth sailing to the development of life long participants and the future stars of our sport, and are committed to ensuring appropriate opportunities for emerging athletes to compete at national level regattas as and when the time is right.

Advice for Clubs hosting events

To assist clubs in hosting events at this time, Australian Sailing has developed the following guidelines for consideration.

For clubs considering hosting events this summer:

  • Hosting events may not be possible given state Public Health Orders.
  • Consider whether to hold a National Championship this summer or defer to a later date.
  • Consider holding local events instead with smaller fleet sizes.
For clubs and classes running events this summer:
  • Include a COVID safe plan
  • Make changes to minimise gatherings, such as:
    • Online briefings
    • Registration and entries via email or the use of an app
    • No presentation or functions
    • Split fleets into smaller divisions and stagger race times
  • Participants from some states may be excluded by factors beyond their control - consider whether to classify the regatta a "national" championship.
  • There are varying levels of exemptions (social distancing, group sizes) in most states for recreational boating - be aware that these exemptions do not apply on land or at clubs.
  • Consider that club capacity limits include all people on the premises, not just sailing event participants.
  • Give yourselves and participants flexibility:
    • Don't incur unnecessary costs upfront
    • Have the ability to scale back entries and/or offer full refunds if the event is cancelled
For more information for clubs and classes regarding the COVID-19 pandemic please visit sailingresources.org.au/covid-19.

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