The 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet stands at 91 following the withdrawal today of Jim Cooney’s Volvo Open 70, Willow, and the Infiniti 46R, Maverick 49, owned by Quentin Stewart.
Cooney advised the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) that three of his crew had tested positive to COVID-19 and to be cautious, has withdrawn. His yacht, Willow, was to be amongst the front runners behind the 100-footers.
Stewart has not reported any COVID-19 cases but told the CYCA he was withdrawing because he did not want to take the risk.
Cooney said today: “We had three positive tests and still waiting on two tests.
“There is no feasible or responsible way we can continue. I do have crew on standby that are negative, so it’s not so much about now, but what it might be like in 48 hours. There is still potential for people to pass it on. The approach is to gracefully withdraw and not put people in jeopardy.
“As the owner and skipper there is a moral and legal responsibility if people are carrying the virus but not showing symptoms or testing positive yet.
“My son Douglas was looking forward to his first race last year, having turned 18 and has missed out again this year. He was very much looking forward to it after a successful line honours win in the TransPac Race with parents and brother in 2019.”
Cooney ended: “I wish the remainder of the fleet all the best for the race.”
The remaining 91 yachts, including 18 two-handed entries, are ready to take on the 628 nautical mile challenge that starts tomorrow, Boxing Day, at 1pm.
For the full list of entries and more information about the race, visit rolexsydneyhobart.com
By Di Pearson/RSHYR