Virus takes out Sail Melbourne regatta

Sail Melbourne international regatta has been cancelled for the first time in 29 years due to border restrictions and a venue being linked to coronavirus.

Coronavirus has forced the cancellation of the Sail Melbourne International regatta after the Royal Brighton Yacht Club was confirmed as a COVID-19 exposure site.

Australian Sailing and the RBYC announced on Friday that the regatta, due to be held January 16-20 and also 2021 Sail Melbourne Next Gen set down for January 11-14, had been cancelled.

There were known COVID-19 cases at the club on December 29, causing it to undergo a deep clean and close until Monday.

The organising committee said that with the Victoria border closing to NSW amid outbreaks in both states, they decided to cancel the regatta in the interest of public safety.

"We are disappointed to have to cancel Sail Melbourne for 2021," said Sail Melbourne event chairman Paul Pascoe said.

"With many sailors travelling from around the country to attend the regatta it was crucial that we made an informed but timely decision to provide them as much notice as possible due to travel.,"

"The primary focus is the safety of staff, visitors and members along with competitors health and welfare."

Held annually since 1992, this is the first time in 29 years that Sail Melbourne will not be contested.