ONE of the world's most iconic yachting events, the Round the Island Race, will not take place this year.

It is widely regarded as one of the biggest yacht races in the world.

Organisers Island Sailing Club (ISC) this afternoon announced the event, which had been postponed from its original May date until September, has now been cancelled.

The ISC said planning for the 2021 race starts immediately.

The hundreds of entries for this year’s race around the Isle of Wight will be rolled over to 2021 when they will be joined by hundreds more to make the 2021 Round the Island Race an unforgettable celebration of sailing.

The date of the 2021 race is Saturday, July 3.

Race director Dave Atkinson said: “With fears of a second wave, the growing number of restrictions on overseas travel as well as the rise in local lockdowns; our hopes of staging this year’s race have been dashed.

"As sailing restrictions have eased, it appeared that safety on the water was becoming less of an issue; but sadly, with Round the Island being one of the UK’s largest sporting events, achieving shoreside Covid-19 compliance within current government guidelines, is simply not achievable.”

"The club is immensely grateful for the guidance it has received in helping it come to this decision, especially that from the RYA and the Isle of Wight Council.

Ian Walker, RYA racing director, said: “I am sad to hear that the Round the Island Race, a highlight of the British sailing calendar, has been cancelled for 2020.

"I am sure many people, like myself, were looking forward to competing in the re-arranged race, but I am not surprised that the Island Sailing Club came to this tough decision.

If you require further information please contact the ISC team