Boasting a 27 year history of sensational historic bike racing, the International Island Classic held on the Australia Day long weekend, is an institution at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. But in this brave new COVID world even long-held traditions are subject to change, with confirmation this week the 2021 Island Classic meet for historic bikes will be postponed.
The Phillip Island Circuit management announced the decision today, saying the Island Classic will hopefully be held later in the year, but in 2021 would not feature the hotly contested multi-nation competition, the International Challenge.
General Manager of the circuit, David Bennett, said the ongoing complexities and risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic had halted planning of the historic bike event.
“We had desperately hoped the situation would be different and would have loved to welcome everyone to another Island Classic. But the worsening situation overseas and the ongoing restrictions impacting the events industry locally, has led us to making this difficult decision”
“We are hopeful of staging an Island Classic in 2021, but not in January.
“Scheduling though will be subject to state borders reopening, quarantine requirements being lifted and government restrictions easing sufficiently to run a viable event. We have to wait to see how the COVID situation evolves locally in the coming months.
“We will continue to review our options to host an historic race meet at some stage in 2021 and look forward to welcoming Australian riders, historic teams and race fans back to Phillip Island soon.”
Run for the past 27 years on January’s Australia Day long weekend, the International Island Classic has attracted bike racers, their legendary historic bikes and hordes of race lovers to Phillip Island from around the world. It is one of the largest historic motorcycle meets in the world today.