Annual Coffs Cup and half day public holiday to go ahead

Coffs Harbour’s 56th annual Coffs Cup Race day and half day public holiday is still scheduled to go ahead on Thursday 5 August, with COVID restrictions in place. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

COFFS Harbour’s annual Coffs Cup Race Day and half day public holiday is still scheduled to go ahead, despite current COVID-19 restrictions in place throughout regional NSW.

Coffs Harbour City Council confirmed the annual Coffs Cup public holiday will occur on Thursday 5 August.

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“Obviously the Covid situation is very fluid and we take our advice from NSW Health,” a Council spokesperson stated.

“But at this stage it is going ahead.

“If the situation changes, it will be reviewed as per relevant NSW Health advice.”

The Coffs Cup half day public holiday was cancelled for the region last year.

Around 2,500 people will be permitted to attend this year’s Coffs Cup Race Day at Coffs Harbour Racing Club.

All attendees will be required to wear a surgical face mask both indoors and outdoors, in line with Racing NSW COVID-19 regulations, and check in to the event using a NSW Government QR code.

Fabric face masks will not be permitted.

“At this stage we’re still going ahead and we can have 50% capacity under the Stadium and Recreational Facilities Health Order,” Coffs Harbour Racing Club CEO Tim Saladine said.

“We’re under the same rules for indoors so we can only have one person per four square metres, which limits us a lot.”

“Obviously outdoors which people are encouraged to be, we’ve got plenty of seating.”

Mr Saladine said jockeys would be segregated from members of the public on the day, as well as from horse trainers.

“Jockeys have to be segregated from the public, no one is allowed near the jockeys, even the trainers can’t go in and see the jockeys they have to be one and a half metres apart from each other and they have to be segregated as well,” he said

Patrons must be seated while indoors at the Club on the day, but outdoors attendees are able to move freely, and indoor seating is limited to 700.

There will be no Fashions on the Field or presentations on the day Permitted attendance numbers this year are up on last year’s Coffs Cup Day, with only 750 permitted to attend the Cup in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Which was actually only members and owners of racehorses,” Mr Saladine said.

Last year the face mask rule was not in place.

This year, tickets to the 56th annual Coffs Harbour Gold Cup cannot be purchased at the gate and must be purchased through the Coffs Harbour Racing Club website at https://www.coffsracingclub.com.au/.

“We need to track the numbers for licensing rules,” Mr Saladine said.

Around 90% of the allocated tickets to the Coffs Cup have already been sold.

The 8-race Coffs Harbour Gold Cup 2021 will be held from 11am to 5.30pm on Thursday 5 August and general admission tickets cost $20 per person plus a booking fee.

This weekend’s Sawtell Cup has had a late date change from Sunday 25 July to Saturday 24 July, due to a lack of available jockeys for the Cup.

“It’s been moved to Saturday because they’ve run out of jockeys in Sydney so we had a swap with Gosford,” Mr Saladine said.

No members of the public are allowed to attend the Sawtell Cup due to a positive COVID-19 case visiting the Coffs Coast region last week.

“Racing NSW advises that following potential COVID-19 exposure sites in the Coffs Harbour area, the race meeting scheduled for Saturday 24 July 2021 will be closed to members, the public and owners,” Coffs Harbour Racing Club stated late on Wednesday.

“Only Essential Personnel are permitted to attend the meeting.”

The 7-race Sawtell Cup will be held from 11am to 5pm at Coffs Harbour Racing Club on Saturday 24 July.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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