Gladstone’s Wistari was due to set a record for most Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Races this year, but will have to wait until 2021. Picture: Shoebox Images
Gladstone’s Wistari was due to set a record for most Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Races this year, but will have to wait until 2021. Picture: Shoebox Images

‘Devastated’: B2G cancelled amid virus concerns

FOR the first time in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race's 72-year history, the event has been cancelled.

The announcement from organisers Queensland Cruising Yacht Club was made in line with government recommendations regarding COVID-19.

"This is on account of the escalating nature of advisories and measures necessary to contain the pandemic in Australia and the need to be totally compliant with these," QCYC said in a statement.

"We have taken what we believe is the most appropriate action in the interests of competitor and public safety."

The decision was not taken lightly, especially given the unbroken yearly history of the race since 1949.

Race director Karen Somerville said everyone at QCYC was disappointed, but it was a decision that had to be made.

"I'm devastated, it was a very hard decision," Ms Somerville said.

She said organisers were grappling with the fact it was a virus that caused the cancellation.

"You'd think it would be weather or something, not a virus," she said.

The race was even run during a cyclone in 1972.

Ms Somerville said boat owners were disappointed but understood the decision, especially those who were having difficulty filling crews because of the virus.

QCYC said it looked forward to seeing the 2021 race return with the usual health, spirit of competitiveness and passion and public spectacle it generates.