PALM BEACH, FL, November 5, 2020 –– Organizers of the 64th annual Wirth M. Munroe Ocean Race announced today they have canceled the event, scheduled for Friday, December 4, because of a significant spike in COVID-19 cases in South Florida.
Race Chair Tom Bowler of the sponsoring Sailfish Club of Florida said the decision to cancel the race and all shore-side post-race activities reflected organizers’ commitment to staging a “safety-first” event, with the health and well-being of participants, volunteers, and Club staff as the top priority. He said the Storm Trysail Club and Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, the other members of the Organizing Authority concurred with the decision.
“We are very disappointed to cancel the Wirth Munroe, but we believe the decision reflects an abundance of caution that is appropriate considering the dramatic uptick in cases in our area in the last few weeks and the unique format of the event,” Mr. Bowler said. “We consulted at length with our race partners and state and local health officials, and we agreed that bringing together skippers and crews along with race management personnel and assets from hot-spot counties and cities posed too much risk to all concerned.”
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases represents a significant change since late summer, when cases in South Florida were trending down and race organizers announced the event would proceed as planned.
For the last two years, the Wirth Munroe has offered a two-course format — the 60-mile “Classic” from Miami to Palm Beach and the 40-mile “Sprint” from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach. Visiting skippers and crews are offered overnight dockage at the Sailfish Club and invited to a post-race reception, dinner and awards ceremony.
Mr. Bowler said skippers will receive full refunds for entry fees and tickets to the post-race activities for this year’s event.
For further information and to request a refund, please contact Sarah Gay at (561) 844-0206 or SarahGay@sailfishclub.com.