Coronavirus outbreak in Sydney forces cancellation of Rolex Sydney to Hobart

Just six days short of the starter's gun, Sydney to Hobart yacht race is called off

author icon By Guest Writer | 19 December 2020

Picture: Paul Balfe

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race has been cancelled for the first time in 76 years due to a coronavirus outbreak on the Northern Beaches suburbs of Sydney.

The event organisers on Saturday night announced it was with ‘great sadness’ the 76th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race would not go ahead in 2020. It’s the first time in the history of the race that it has been called off, in this case just six days before it was due to commence.

They said the coronavirus pandemic has distrupted sporting events across the world throughout the year and the ‘Great Race’ is another victim of the health crisis.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore, Noel Cornish AM said in a statement: “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 club said the primary consideration continued to be the safety of competitors, members and staff along with the health and welfare of the people of NSW and Tasmania.

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, the club said.