The world’s most prestigious sporting event is … snow polo

It's the world's most prestigious sporting event . . . in Europe's most revered location.

If you're serious about making an appearance at the most exclusive sporting event on earth, then don't dare miss the St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup. Each year, more than 12,000 private jets touch down at St Moritz's private airport, a large proportion of which come for the winter polo world cup.

More than 15,000 spectators, including members of Europe's royal families, the world's highest paid chief executives and Hollywood's biggest names, arrive to watch the famous tournament played out on a frozen lake within Switzerland's most glamorous ski resort.

The contest itself, of course, plays a minor role. It's as important to flash your pearls in the Veuve Clicquot tent, or your diamond ring at the gala night, or to sample the delights of a main course created by three of Europe's finest chefs, boasting 53 Gault Millau points between them.

The next world cup will be from January 29 to February 1, 2015. For more, check out

Book a suite at the Kulm Hotel, where Princess Grace used to stay, see

Sail of the century

Once upon a time, St Tropez was nothing more than a fishing village – now millions of visitors descend on the town each summer to soak up every last vestige of its unrivalled European chic.

You'll struggle to find accommodation without booking a year in advance . . . so why not escape the masses and leave land behind altogether?

Visit St Tropez in the first week of October and step aboard your own skippered luxury yacht to watch Europe's most exciting summer sailing event – the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.

Modern super-yachts battle it out against exquisite traditional craft for the Rolex Trophy – Europe's finest sailing prize – and you can watch it while sailing right past the beautiful folk at their five-star hotels along St Tropez's elite Tahiti Beach.

More than 300 yachts take part each year – you can even sail in the event yourself. Or just chase the warm summer breeze along the French Riviera, skippering your own yacht. Or hire a skipper and crew to do the work for you.

The next Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez will be held from September 27 to October 5, 2014, check out

To charter your own luxury yacht, visit

Surfin' turf

Forget the Ashes at Lord's, or the British Open at St Andrews – do they allow spectators to fraternise with the competitors before watching them risk their lives for victory from just a few metres away?


Tahiti's Billabong Pro is the sporting world's best spectator event, in its most stunning setting.

Every August, the planet's greatest surfers congregate in Teahupo'o, a tiny village in the remote south-eastern corner of Tahiti Iti, to surf the world's deadliest waves.

Against a backdrop of 1500-metre-high mountain ranges and turquoise lagoons, surfers ride three-metre waves that break over a shallow, sharp reef.

Have your hosts ferry you out to the break each day by speedboat (or cross the lagoon on a stand-up paddleboard), to wait in the safe channel while Kelly Slater and co end their rides just beside your boat.

When the competitors aren't surfing, you'll have the opportunity to mix with them in Teahupo'o's tiny makeshift restaurants and cafes.

The Billabong Pro is being contested this week and the next one will be in August 2015, visit

Rent a lagoon-side holiday home near the surf break, check out Or stay in a private bungalow overlooking Teahupo'o at Vanira Lodge,

As grand as they come

Once a year, the streets that run across the most fabled royal kingdom on earth are transformed into the world's most prestigious motor race circuit – the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Arrive in style aboard a private helicopter transfer from Nice airport to a helipad right beside the palace, flying above the deep-blue Cote D'Azur.

Spend the event's weekend of racing away from the crowds aboard a luxury super-yacht in Monaco's harbour, or at one of the kingdom's five-star hotels, with two-Michelin-starred restaurants. Watch the action from a private terrace on the finish line for the best possible views of the entire track.

The Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix is frequented by the world's top political, business and entertainment figures. Your access to the exclusive Amber Lounge will allow you to mix freely with them and with the formula one drivers, and hear the world's biggest bands and DJs at nightly VIP parties and fashion shows, while your membership of the Paddock Club includes access to the event's pit lane.

The next Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix will be held from May 21-24, 2015, check out For VIP tickets, check out

Le equine ecstasy

Forget the Melbourne Cup: the ultimate horse racing event in the world could only occur in one place – Paris.

It's the richest of all European horse races and each year the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (or "the Arc" as it's best known) attracts prime ministers, presidents and royalty from all over Europe.

But if you don't want to get caught in Paris's infamous traffic jams, take a private helicopter from either London (the journey takes an hour and 45 minutes) or Paris to Issy-Les-Moulineaux Heliport, where a limousine will be on hand to drive you directly to the VIP Village (right by the winning post).

More than 70,000 people attend the Arc each year, while more than a billion people around the world watch it on television. But in the VIP Village you'll be just five metres from the competing horses and jockeys and have your own private lounge and club area.

The next Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will be held on October 4 and 5, see For information on VIP tickets, go to

To book a helicopter transfer, go to

This article originally appeared in The Australian Financial Review's Life & Leisure magazine.

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