Cod Classic COVID’s latest victim

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

One of the region’s biggest sporting events, the Lake Mulwala Cod Classic, was officially cancelled on Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, which injects millions of dollars into the local economy and supports many community groups, was due to celebrate its 21st year anniversary on December 4-6 but will now have to wait until 2021.

The Cod Classic’s cancellation has joined a long list of local major events not going ahead this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early June the Yarrawonga Show joined the Lake Mulwala Rod Run and Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival of event cancellations after major events IWWF World Show Ski Championships, the annual Yarrawonga Easter Tournament, the Easter Under the Southern Stars rock concert, the GP Formula Boat Races and the Festival of 1000 Voices were all called off in April. 

Cod Classic event organiser Tony Bennett said it was disappointing to have to call off the event but with the current pandemic, it is for the best.

“It’s with great regret I inform that the 2020 Yamaha Cod Classic - Lake Mulwala has been cancelled,” Tony said. 

“It is the towns’ biggest sporting event for the year and brings in a lot of people but unfortunately we cannot hold it this year.

“Unfortunately, due to these current times it is impossible to go ahead with only three and a half months remaining until the event. 

“We will have something on be it on a smaller scale depending on what restrictions allow. We will let people know closer to the time. 

“At the moment we don’t know whether we are going forwards or back.

“We look forward to coming back bigger and better in 2021.”

The Cod Classic generally attracts around 3000 keen anglers each year making the journey from all parts of Australia and staying for the entirety of the weekend.

The event celebrates the opening of Cod Season and is an iconic drawcard on the Australian fishing calendar bringing with great economic benefit to community. 

Yarrawonga Mulwala Tourism & Business (YMTB) Executive Noel Wright said the event cancellations and postponements have and will have a serious financial impact on the 2020 year but they are aiming to have most events postponed to later dates.

“The tourism and the visitor information centre have worked hard to ensure events have been postponed rather than cancelled,” Mr Wright said. 

“While postponement is not great, at least the financial benefit is deferred to a later date and not lost completely as in a cancellation. 

“We have focused on the major events during this time ensuring to maintain positive relationships with Northern Suburbs Street Rod Club, the Victorian Speed Boat Club, Triathlon Victoria and Tennis Victoria.”

With many of the regions big events being called off for 2020 there is hope the events will be able to come back in 2021, bigger and better than ever.