SYDNEY, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Australia's most prestigious yacht race, the Sydney to Hobart, will go ahead this year, as state borders between Tasmania and New South Wales (NSW) set to reopen from this Friday.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) Commodore Noel Cornish said on Wednesday the starting cannon would be fired again on Boxing day for the 628-nautical-mile blue water classic.
"We are excited that we can host the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in this challenging year," Cornish said.
"We are thrilled to have so many yachts participating this year, particularly given the general uncertainty and necessary restrictions placed on many sporting events in Australia over the past six months."
The Tasmanian government's decision to allow NSW travellers to enter the state without quarantine from Friday has made the race a reality.
Cornish thanked both governments for their support and hoped the race could bring some relief to businesses and communities.
"Whilst 2020 has been a very difficult year for all Australians due to the impact of COVID-19, we feel that it is important for the CYCA and the sailing world to help support the economic recovery and help communities return to some sense of normality within strict health and safety guidelines," he said.
Entries for the race closed last Thursday with 100 boats looking to head south. Many international competitors were not able to contest this year due to ongoing global restrictions.
To ensure the safety and well-being of all participants and broader communities, a number of changes will be made to the event, including a focus on digital coverage, cancelling social events held in the lead up to the race, as well as imposing restrictions across the clubhouse, marina and other public gathering spots. Enditem