Another edition of the Argentine Open Championship came to an end on Saturday at Palermo, and once again, La Dolfina were crowned the best team in the world. Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough, and Juan Martin Nero claimed their fifth consecutive Argentine Open title. While the final was spectacular, there are many other parts of the Championship and the Triple Crown as a whole that are worth highlighting.
-Pololine understands that, from a logistics point of view, the 2018 Triple Crown should be organised in full by the Argentine Association of Polo. If changes occur to the date and time of a certain match, the Association should be in charge of communicating the changes, without having to rely on third parties.
-The Argentine Open format should change. Due to a lack of attractive matches, Palermo cannot let slide a match between Alegria and La Dolfina, for sporting reasons and because of the spectacle it would be after what occurred in Hurlingham. One alternative could be that five or six teams play the main championship, with an all-vs-all format, and the top two teams play the final. However, as things stand, it is likely that 2018 will see a similar format to 2017.
-Polito Pieres once again became the talented, determined, attacking player we saw in Alegria. Ellerstina have spent the last two years searching for their style, Polito rose to the occasion, showing that he can appear when his team need him most.
-The public followed the Open every step of the way, not just in the final. The weekend before the big final, there was a 22% increase in spectators compared to the same Saturday in 2016, and a 30% increase compared to spectators on that Sunday last year. And Palermo was fully packed in the final, with people filling the stands and staying late to enjoy the music and food available.
-The first Women’s Open Championship final took place on Palermo’s number two ground. It was a thrilling match which ended in extra chukka. Hopefully the event will continue for years to come.
-Umpiring was an issue. Many Class B umpires were trialled in the best polo in the world. It was a good idea, but it highlighted the discrepancy between Class A and Class B umpires. The AAP now has time to design a strategy to train umpires for future tournaments.
-Alegría proved to be a first class team in what was a great season for them. Hopefully they will maintain their competitive edge and continue providing a spectacle for all.