Yachting: Iconic Sydney to Hobart race cancelled due to COVID-19

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race, scheduled to take place from December 26-31, has been cancelled following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Sydney, race organisers said on Saturday.

Australian states and territories on Friday began imposing border restrictions after 28 cases of the virus were detected from a cluster on Sydney's northern beaches.

On Saturday, Tasmania - where the race finishes - announced that anyone from the area, where many of the competitors are based, would be forced to undergo 14 days of quarantine upon arrival in the state.

"We are bitterly disappointed to cancel the race this year especially considering the plans and preparations we had put in place to have a COVID safe race," Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Noel Cornish said in a statement.

"We were so well prepared to run the race and we're only six days from the start. This is the first time in 76 years that the race will not be conducted."