Sardinia harbor jump celebration banned this year

A change in the rules means this weekend's winning driver will have to refrain from the celebration


It just won’t be the same. The second most famous jump at Rally Italy Sardinia has been banned. It’s outrageous. The finish just won’t be the same.

What are we talking about? The winning driver, then co-driver, then team, then just about anybody who fancies a dip, diving headlong into the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Not this time. There will be no sea celebrations on Sunday.

Clerk of the course of the Olbia-based event Lucio de Mori has spoken. He said: “All crews are notified that unlike in previous years when an approved opportunity to jump in the water close to the podium was provided, such activity is not permitted in 2023 due to safety concerns.”

Safety concerns? I asked an event insider.

“Pollution. They have been working more in the port for the last two years and this is the reason.”

Fair enough.

Petter Solberg started the trend back in 2004, when the finish was in Porto Cervo. When he missed out on the win 12 months later, he, er.. encouraged a reluctant Sébastien Loeb to, er.. jump in as well.

rally italia sardinia 2004

It quickly became a thing, with the event organizer providing coast guard patrols and divers, just in case. The teams then got into it with rubber rings, blow-up ducks and all sorts of floatation devices.

In some ways, with the weather forecast set for rain on Sunday, the deep blue sea might not hold the same appeal as it did last year after Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja had been baked aboard their Hyundai i20 N Rally1 in 70C for three days.

It’s a celebration that’s become a tradition. Here’s hoping normal service is resumed for next year. Sardinia’s story doesn’t end well without a superman, a bomb or a perfect 10.

Oh, and the most famous jump on Sardinia? That’s Micky’s.