Wondering where to head next on board a luxury superyacht? Whether it's for love of the sport or for the glamour of the event itself, polo offers everyone the perfect excuse to cruise to the likes of Australia, Spain and Dubai on a luxury yacht vacation.
Sydney, one of Australia's largest cities, is a great place to take a yacht and will be the host of this year's World Polo Championship. 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 north-west 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 if you're spending a few days on a superyacht around Sydney Harbour. 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. 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.”
Surf and fly
Two must-do Sydney experiences are a surf lesson at Bondi Beach and a helicopter ride to a Hunter Valley vineyard, says Joachim Howard.
Beach bar views
Take in views of Bondi Beach while enjoying one of Icebergs’ classic cocktails and a menu of regional Italian cuisine that celebrates seasonal flavours.
Walk this way
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 nearly 10 kilometre Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway.
Picture courtesy of Pinctada Cable Beach Polo Pty Ltd