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2020 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 19 Dec 2020 03:27 PST 26 December 2020
A spectacular Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start © Daniel Forster / Rolex

It is with great regret that the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia announces that the 76th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will not be proceeding in 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 that has disrupted sporting events around the globe for so much of the year has added the Great Race to its list.

CYCA Commodore, Noel Cornish AM said, "We are bitterly disappointed to cancel the Race this year especially considering the plans and preparations we had put in place to have a COVID Safe race."

"We were so well prepared to run the race and we're only six days from the start. This is the first time in 76 years that the race will not be conducted."

The primary consideration for the Club continues to be the safety of competitors, Members and staff along with the health and welfare of the people of NSW and Tasmania.

Following the announcement by the Tasmanian Premier, Peter Gutwein, this afternoon, it is now impracticable for the CYCA to conduct the Race under prevailing COVID-19 restrictions.

Yesterday, the Northern Beaches local government area of Sydney had been classified a "High Risk" zone which would prevent any residents from travelling to Tasmania. This afternoon, Greater Sydney was defined as "Medium Risk" whereby people entering Tasmania from Sydney are required to quarantine for fourteen days on arrival. As this restriction would apply to all competitors, families, race management and staff, it is unrealistic to proceed further with planning for the Race.

It is unlikely the restrictions and advice will lift in the immediate future. As such the immense logistics involved in reorganising and running a significant sporting event such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, as well as the planning and preparation required by crews, precludes the Club from postponing the race.

Alternative races had been carefully considered by the Club. However, in line with the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian's request that all NSW residents limit their non-essential travel and interactions with others, it was felt that there were no other options that would allow for a COVID Safe replacement race.

"On behalf of the CYCA, I'd like to express my gratitude to our Competitors, Members, Volunteers, The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, New South Wales & Tasmanian Governments, and other stakeholders for the very close working relationships we've developed through the year to make the race a possibility."

"A special thank you to our partner Rolex for their support of the race and our Club."

"This race has a long and proud history and we look forward to continuing this exciting tradition next year."

On behalf of the CYCA, I'd like to express my gratitude to our Competitors, Members, Volunteers, RYCT, the NSW & Tasmania governments, and other stakeholders for the very close working relationships we've developed through the year to make the race a possibility.

A special thank you to our partner Rolex for their ongoing support of the race and our club.

This race has a long and proud history and we look forward to continuing this exciting tradition next year.

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