ShowBoats International | February 2017
The host of the next World Polo Championship, Sydney is also a great place to take a yacht. Organised by the Federation of International Polo (FIP), the tournament is held once every three years. Eight international teams will compete at the 11th edition, October 17 to 30, at the Sydney Polo Club, including the current world champions from Chile.
The Sydney Polo Club, which dates back to 1870, is on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, about 40 miles northwest of Sydney Harbour, and has five polo grounds and a horse-riding school. Five other polo clubs are also located nearby, giving the Hawkesbury Basin 20 polo fields and a range of playing and lesson opportunities. You may want to consider extending your Sydney visit well beyond the FIP tournament, though.
Summer — particularly December and January, thanks to annual yachting and holiday festivities — are the best months for superyacht charters, says Joachim Howard, managing director of Ocean Alliance, which specialises in yacht charter, management and brokerage. However, Sydney is also a cruising destination beyond the austral summer, and, if you’re keen to satisfy polo urges, keep in mind that the sport is mainly played here in autumn (from March through the end of May) and spring (August through November).
Other Sydney draws, adds Howard, include the “beautiful deep-water harbour with protected anchorages, luxury shopping, the Sydney Opera House and the amazing beaches.” If you’re chartering in the area for a week, he recommends an itinerary that also includes Pittwater, an expanse of waterways 14 nautical miles to the north, which, in addition to a protected anchorage, offers “fantastic restaurants and a more natural setting.”
Polo shouldn’t be your only land-based activity while in Sydney. Spend a few hours embarking on one of the city’s coastal bushwalks; for example, the four-mile Coogee to Bondi Beach Coastal Walk or the six-mile Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway.