Newcastle sailor Lucas Chapman was all set to head to Europe this year and enjoy a summer of sailing, but the global pandemic put a halt to his plans.
Instead, Chapman relied on his engineering degree to get a bit of work.
It is a story common with other sailors across the country, unable to travel to regattas due to restrictions around the world.
However, when one door closes, another opens, and thanks to Australia's rapid response to COVID-19, state borders are opening just in time for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to run the 2020 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
"It's good that the Sydney to Hobart has been able to go ahead, I'm really looking forward to doing some serious offshore sailing, and I can't wait for Boxing Day," Chapman says.
The race allowed Chapman to re-join the InfoTrack team for his third tilt at the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
He will serve in the pit on Christian Beck's 100-foot super maxi-yacht as they look to secure line honours for the first time since the software guru bought 2016 winner Perpetual Loyal and rebranded it after his software company.
"Basically, every time there's a manoeuvre or a sail is being hoisted or lowered, I'm in control of that area and running the manoeuvre from the pit.
"Nothing goes up or down or furls in and out without the pit's says-so, so you generally have a bit on," Chapman jokes.
"I enjoy that role, because its very mechanical in a way.
"You have to be smart with what you do, and timing is everything.
"You have got to be thinking a few steps ahead of what the skipper and the tactician want to do, and you need to have those plans laid out in your head so when they say they're going to do one of those things, you can be already on it."
Like most of the boats taking part in this year's Sydney to Hobart, InfoTrack's preparations have been limited, but Chapman is sure that the crew that has been assembled will be able to get the job done.
"In the last couple of weeks, the team is focused on getting the skill sets up to speed to ensure that everyone on board has the ability take on multiple roles during the race," he says.
"On each watch you need people can drive and do everything that's needed on deck."
Without some of their usual contingent of international sailors, InfoTrack has filled the gap by using experienced sailors from the Sydney clubs scene, and brought across some maxi veterans from the Wild Oats and Comanche crews.
"We will definitely have a strong team line-up for race day," Chapman says.
"The core team is largely unchanged from the last three year.
"We have done pretty well to gel in such a short time."
InfoTrack will be one of the boats to beat for line honours in this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race after a win the Cabbage Tree Island Race, which passes Port Stephens, and followed it up with a victory in the Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.
Chapman has been pleasantly surprised with InfoTrack's good run of form, and says their recent wins have given the team a burst of confidence heading into the classic race.
The crew is under no illusions that they will need the wind gods on their side if they are to snatch back line honours.
"We have trained for a few scenarios where we know we are strong in certain conditions, but you never know in the Sydney to Hobart, anything can happen," Chapman says.
"We are looking for some heavy breeze.
If it was windy and reaching we would be very happy.
"In terms of our crew performance and preparation, we are confident.
"First things first, we have to finish, and get down there in one piece.
"The rest is up to the weather and a bit of luck," Chapman says.
Jack O'Rourke is a contributor to Ocean Media
Maritimo has ended the year on a high, sending off a single shipment loaded with six Maritimo motor yachts headed to overseas owners.
The $15 million shipment will be delivered over the next four weeks, with owners receiving their new toys in the new year.
"With COVID restrictions none of them have been able to visit the factory to personally see their boat's progress so all walkthroughs have been undertaken virtually," said Maritimo General Manager Operations, Phil Candler.
Models from Maritimo's M-Series and X-Series are bound for destinations In New Zealand and the United States.
THE SHOW GOES ON
The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show will return in 2021 for its 32nd edition, with organisers confirming 20 to 23 of May dates.
Last year's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS) attracted 47,000 visitors over four days.
SCIBS Sales & Partnership Manager Dominic O'Brien invited exhibitors to secure their preferred spots on water and within the upgraded Marine Village.
"In recognition of the ongoing loyalty and support of our exhibitors, brands that exhibited in 2019 will have preferential allocation to the same or similar type site for two weeks within launch," Mr O'Brien said.
Tickets to the four-day event will go on sale in February.