Well, what do Tbilisi and an icy lake in St Moritz have in common? A lot, as it turns out. Last Sunday, 29th January, Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire pounded through the snow-covered iced-over Lake St Moritz to retain Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz, started by Reto Gaudenzi (he was there on Sunday, as was a global crowd of over 250).
DJ Mr Mike and ‘on tap’ Perrier Jouët made sure those spectators were in high spirits as the first ball was thrown in. The pressure was on for Azerbaijan Land of Fire to win for the second year – Tito Gaudenzi was replaced by Tarlan Gurbanaliyev for this Final. Commentators said they played from the outset with their usual veuve and enthusiasm, and at half-time the scores was 3-2 to Azerbaijan Land of Fire. At the end it was five goals to Azerbaijan and five goals to St Moritz and play went into extra time for only the second occasion in the last 15 years’ history. Adrian Laplacette Jr of the Azerbaijan team then converted a penalty in the golden goal period to claim the Trophy for the second year running.
The trophy, sponsored by World Polo League, was presented by Piero Dillier, President of the Board of Evviva Polo St. Moritz, to the Azerbaijan Land of Fire (the team, namely Adrian Laplacette Jr, Raul Laplacette Jr, Tarlan Gurbanaliyev and Tito Gaudenzi each received a “Tank Française” Cartier watch). Spencer McCarthy won The Best Playing Patron Award, presented personally by Etienne Dalancon, MD of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, winning a five-night stay at the resort. The Most Valuable Player, Adrian Laplacette Jr, received a pair of Cartier sunglasses, sponsored by The World Polo League and presented by Melissa Ganzi
Official hotels included BADRUTT’S PALACE, which hosted various events and also handled all VIP Catering. Badrutt’s Palace, under MD Richard Leuenber, is part of Leading Hotels of the World. Next snow polo is 26-28 January 2024.