Sydney to Hobart yacht race 2021 organisers consider alternative race amid border COVID-19 restrictions to avoid cancelling event again

Organisers of the iconic Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race are contemplating all their options, including an “alternative race” as they remain determined not to cancel the event for the second consecutive year.

The 2020 race was cancelled due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is hopeful the 76th edition of the 628nm classic will be back this year, even if changes have to be made.

“We are once again working through a number of challenges as we prepare for this year’s race,” CYCA Commodore Noel Cornish said.

“We acknowledge that some decisions will be out of our control, but we remain hopeful that the race will go ahead as planned on Boxing Day.”

Organisers are still accepting applications until the end of October for the 2021 race, which already has over 70 boats entered to compete and leave Sydney Harbour, and sail into the Tasman Sea across Bass Strait and down to the east coast of Tasmania before arriving into Storm Bay and up the Derwent River to the Hobart finish line.

“We are in ongoing discussions with the New South Wales and Tasmanian State Governments to keep abreast of changes to policy,” Cornish said.

“The CYCA is focusing on what is in our control. An extensive COVID-safe plan is already in place and is being regularly adapted to comply with the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

“We are also encouraging competitors to consider their vaccination status, in the event this is a condition required by either State Government.”

Organisers hopeful for Sydney to Hobart race

Current restrictions in NSW have halted racing at the moment and the Tasmanian border is also closed to those from NSW.


This has led to organisers considering all their options should the situation not change by December in time for the traditional Boxing Day race.

“Contingency planning is underway and we are considering an alternative race if the border to Tasmania remains closed,” Cornish said.

“More information will be available over the coming months, but our priority will always be to preserve the route that has made the Rolex Sydney Hobart the pinnacle of offshore sailing over the last 77 years.

“I would like to thank our race sponsor, Rolex, all CYCA partners and competitors for their support and understanding as we navigate these challenges together.”

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