Strong teams to challenge the defending champion
World-class players from six nations will compete in the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2016 on the last weekend in January. The teams competing in the world’s only high-goal tournament on snow are evenly matched, even more so than in the year before, posing a true challenge to the Team Cartier to defend their title. Natural ice formation on the lake has begun.
Team Cartier inevitably has a say in the outcome of the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz and hence in who will bring home the coveted Cartier Trophy. Captain Spencer McCarthy (+1) has put together a wholly English team: he and Charlie Wooldridge (+2) will play alongside the two old hands Nacho Gonzalez (+6) and Chris Hyde (+6). Chris Hyde is said to be the world’s best snow polo player at the moment; he dominated the tournament in 2015.
Defending their title in 2016 will not be an easy task for the Team Cartier, though: US-American Melissa Ganzi (0) and her team round off the high-calibre list of participating teams. She is one of the few women who play polo at high-goal level. Together with the local player Tito Gaudenzi (+2) and the Argentine professionals Augustin «Tincho» Merlos (+9) and Juan Bollini (+5), she will play in the colours of the Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. Not only is she a very good player, but Melissa Ganzi is also recognised as a major promoter of the sport of polo around the world.
Monte Carlo resident, Italian-born Rommy Gianni (+1) will return to St. Moritz after having played there in 2015. He has taken on board his Team Maserati two high-profile Argentine professionals, Dario Musso (+7) and Frankie Menendes (+6).
Cedric Schweri (0), too, played in St. Moritz in 2015: he represents the host country Switzerland with his fellow citizen Luca Zindel (+1), completing his Team Perrier-Jouët with the two Brazilian players Aluisio Rosa (+7) and Olavo Novaes (+7). New to the team is the renowned champagne maker Perrier-Jouët, the tournament’s fourth team sponsor.
Strong Swiss players and good ice build-up
The three Swiss players coming to St. Moritz, Tito Gaudenzi, Luca Zindel, and Cedric Schweri, are currently among the best in Switzerland. Only in September, they finished in the very respectable fifth place at the F.I.P Arena Polo European Championship in Baku, together with Fabio Maier. Tito Gaudenzi grew up in Silvaplana near St. Moritz.
Last week, the first ice already started to form on the lake of St. Moritz. It is not yet possible to step on the lake, though. Experts will make the first assessment of the depth and quality of the ice formation in two weeks time, following which the decision will be taken on when to start erecting the extensive infrastructure. The constructions are not expected to begin before January.
Members of the press from around the world are expected to report from St. Moritz as they did the year before. For the first time, US Internet-TV channel Chukker.TV will be webcasting all of the games live from St. Moritz into the World Wide Web.
Advance sale of the VIP tickets is going well; once again, advance booking is particularly popular for the Saturday and Sunday tickets with gourmet catering by star chef Reto Mathis, as well as for the gala at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel on Saturday evening. A further spike in demand is expected ahead of Christmas.
Except of the VIP areas, access to the polo grounds on the lake of St. Moritz is open to everyone and free of charge. As always, this includes access to the grandstands and the public polo plaza, where the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and local restaurants will be catering for all tastes and palates.
VIP packages are available at www.snowpolo-stmoritz.com/tickets-and-merchandise