The Sydney to Hobart 2020 yacht race has been canceled due to a coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) issued a statement that the decision to move the 76th. Sydney to Hobart was struck after the Tasmanian government declared Greater Sydney a medium risk zone.
The yacht club said it was unrealistic to go ahead with the race as restrictions would require all participants, families, race organizers and staff to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Tasmania.
CYCA Commodore Noel Cornish said it was the first time in its 76-year history that the race would not be held.
« We are bitterly disappointed to be canceling the race this year, especially given the plans and preparations we have made for a COVID safe race, » he said in a statement.
« We were so well prepared to race and we’re only six days away from the start. «
Alternative races were considered by the club, but NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s request of residents not to restrict non-essential travel left it no other options.
The statement also states that the logistics and planning required to run and participate in the race prevented the race from being postponed.
On the previous Saturday, Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said the Sydney yacht race organizers had been in talks with the Tasmanian health authorities and believed that kicking off the race would be « very challenging ».
The club said the restrictions were unlikely to be lifted in the near future, adding that the safety of the competition, members and staff, and the people of NSW and Tasmania would be a primary consideration.
« This race has a long and proud history and we look forward to continuing this exciting tradition next year, » said Cornish.
Tasmania will categorize Greater Sydney as « medium risk » from midnight on Saturday. Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council Area remains high risk.
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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, Sydney, Hobart, Coronavirus
World News – AU – The NSW Coronavirus outbreak forces the first Sydney to Hobart Yacht cancellation in 76-year history
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