The Tatts Finke Desert Race has been cancelled for the first time in its history.
An emergency meeting for organisers saw the decision taken to call off the event due to limitations placed on large gatherings by the Australian Government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the limitations placed on large gatherings by the Australian Government along with Northern Territory Government advice restricting travel to remote communities; the Finke committee has decided to cancel the 2020 Tatts Finke Desert Race,” the statement read.
“For the first time in 44 years, there will be no Finke weekend celebrated in Central Australia by locals and 7000 interstate visitors.
“Postponement to later in the year was not considered an option. Details on refunds for competitors will be forthcoming. The next event planned is for June 2021.
“This is a disappointing day for organisers and all concerned, but the decision taken is the right one. Public health is too important.”
Six-time Finke Desert Race winner Toby Price took to social media to share his thoughts.
“I’m devastated to hear that Finke 2020 is cancelled, it’s something myself and a lot of Australians look forward to every year,” he wrote.
“Safety does come first so we’ll be back more determined than ever for next year.”
The 2020 event was scheduled to run from June 5-8, making the journey from Alice Springs to Aputula and back.