Covid cluster throws Nutri-Grain surf series into chaos
Surf life saving officials have made the decision to call off the opening round of the Nutri-Grain ironman and ironwoman series at Kingscliff as the Sydney COVID-19 cluster grows.
Many of the surf life savers competing in both a new generation next series and the professional iron events already in Kingscliff or on their way when the event was called off on Friday afternoon.
The decision follows on from all cricket across Sydney being cancelled or postponed this weekend and the Sydney to Hobart put in doubt.
Manly's Kendrick Louis, who was at Kingscliff, said once he heard of the escalating northern beaches outbreak he and his wife went off to be tested and have been self isolating since.
"We just wanted to be careful,'' said Louis, who estimated there were around 30 people from the northern beaches involved or connected with the series.
Organisers are now hoping to reschedule the lost rounds so athletes will still compete over six legs this season.
Having an extra round tagged onto the next two events - at Wanda in January and Kurrawa in February - is an option being explored.
Officials on Friday held meetings to discuss the outbreak on the Northern beaches which now stands at 28.
The northern beaches communities have been asked to lock themselves down and stop all non essential activities to help stop the spread of the disease.
The majority of NSW's athletes in the Nutri-Grain series hail from the Northern Beaches, including men's champion Louis and top ironwoman Lizzie Welborn and Jemma Smith.
There were already concerns how the series would be affected by recent storms on the coast, the water quality and also a spate of recent shark attacks ands sightings.
SLSA Safety and Emergency Coordinator Joel Wiseman said the event was postponed in the interest of safety for competitors, officials and the broader Australian community.
"The difficult decision to postpone the opening rounds of the Nutri-Grain ironman and ironwoman Series was made given the health advice from the NSW and Queensland Government officials,'' he said.
"The event has a detailed COVID-19 safety plan in place and in accordance with that plan as well as consultation with our own COVID-19 safety team, local council and medical officials, the decision was made to postpone the event.
"While we have detailed contact tracing in place and took additional measures since the start of the outbreak, the growing concern within the Sydney region and potential border closures therefore we needed to make a call today to give people time.''
Originally published as Covid cluster throws Nutri-Grain surf series into chaos