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In a fantastic sunshine day in Kitzbühel the 16th edition of the 2018 Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup opened the doors

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KITZBÜHEL SNOW POLO WORLD CUP 1st DAY

In a fantastic sunshine day in Kitzbühel the 16th edition of the 2018 Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup opened the doors and the tournament started with an enthusiastic public around the field.

12 Jan 2018 0 comment  
ALEJANDRO NOVILLO ASTRADA BENDURA BANK TEAM ALEJANDRO NOVILLO ASTRADA BENDURA BANK TEAM KITZBÜHEL POLO PRESS

 The first match was between local rivals, Polo Club Kitzbühel and 2017 winners Corum who were keen to defend their title despite being lower handicapped.
From the first bell, the Corum boys in yellow came firing out of the line-up. With a 2½ goal handicap allowance, Patrick Maleitzke powered out of the throng and powered the bright red Kitzbühel polo ball straight towards the posts for the first goal of what turned out to be a busy first chukka. With little response from the home side, Maleitzke and his teammates thundered back and forth, scoring goal after goal. By halftime, the scoreboard read 6½-2 in Corum’s favour. As the second half began, the expert matching of Valentin Novillo Astrada and Hector Monserrat began their fight back against their rivals in yellow. As the third chukka progressed, it looked as though the tide may be turning, as Novillo Astrada consolidated his attempts on goal, but the polo gods were not smiling and as the final bell sounded at the end of the match, Corum rode off the ground with an assured 8½-4 victory. Corum’s Patrick Maleitzke said after the match, “We came out of the first line-out really strong, which was the plan. We plan to duplicate our efforts today, throughout the tournament.”

For the second match, it was the time of event organiser and polo stalwart Tito Gaudenzi and the Bendura Bank team to take to the field. Following her family’s victory at the Beach Polo World Cup, Melissa Ganzi was looking for the win, with only the strong Engel & Völkers trio standing in her way. The ‘Voice of Polo’ Jan-Erik Franck aptly named the red shirted Engel & Völkers team the ‘Red Devils’ and with agility and skill akin to their aerobatic namesakes, they capitalised on their ½ goal handicap advantage to stay ahead of their competition in the first chukka. Adrian Laplacette, with impressive skills and dexterity controlled the initial play, scoring the first goal of the match, putting Engel & Völkers ahead 1½-0, but they didn’t hold the lead for long. Bendura Bank’s Alejandro Novillo Astrada, fresh from the Argentine summer season, opened the scoring for the blue team, notching up three goals in as many minutes and as the teams broke for half-time, the scoreboard rested on 3-2½ in Bendura Bank’s favour. But, with passion and flair, the ‘Red Devils’ came out fighting in the second half, continuously adding to the scoreboard with Bendura Bank answering with a goal in return each time. As the play became more disjointed, Engel & Völkers took advantage of the numerous penalties awarded against Bendura Bank to finally take home the win, with a closer than close 6½-5 final score. “We’ll come into to tomorrow’s match fighting, following a difficult day today”, said Bendura Bank Captain Melissa Ganzi. “Today was our first day on these horses and we hope to know them better by tomorrow’s match.”

To round off the thrilling first day of the 16th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup, Maserati came up against snow polo stalwarts, team Bernd Gruber, who began the match with a ½ goal handicap advantage, in what was widely acknowledged as the best game in day one of the tournament. From the word go, the roar of the Maserati goal theme could be heard thundering through the Kitzbühel valley, as Thomas Winter and the young talent of Caspar Crasemann dominated the open and fast play. Following a storming first two chukkas, Maserati began the second half with a 7-2 ½ lead, but following a graceful dismount from Winter, Bernd Gruber looked as though they were making a comeback, bringing the scores to 7-5 ½ during the third chukka. However, a triumph was not to be for Bernd Gruber, as Maserati once again found their stride reaching double figures on the scoreboard. Their confident play on the field was reflected in the decisive 11-7½ score in Maserati’s favour.

Event Organiser Tito Gaudenzi ended the day by saying, “The ground played amazingly well today. Our team still has a chance to reach the Final tomorrow, so we will go into the match looking to score as many goals as possible. Watch this space!”

The action in the 16th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup continues tomorrow, with the teams battling it out for the coveted spots in the Final. Maserati are the favourites following their strong performance today, but with the Novillo Astrada cousins set to fully find their snow legs it is all to play for and another day of thrilling action is expected.

Admission to the public area with food village and exhibitors around the polo field is free, so everyone is welcome. For more information, please visit www.kitzbuehelpolo.com

Programme of the 16th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel:

Saturday 13 January

- 11:00am Polo Club Kitzbühel vs Bernd Gruber
- 12:00pm Bendura Bank vs Maserati
- 01:00pm Engel & Völkers vs Corum
- 08:00pm Polo Players Night in the VIP Tent

Sunday 14 January

- 11:00am Match for 5th and 6th place (Engel & Völkers Cup)
- 12:00pm Match for 3rd and 4th place (Kitzbühel Country Club Cup)
- 01:00pm Final of the 16th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel
- 04:00pm Prize-giving ceremony, presentation of Most Valuable Player and Best Playing Pony Awards and photo shoot

Porf. Paola Maldonado
      Journalist
News and PH: Kitzbühel Polo Press

 

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  • KITZBÜHEL SNOW POLO WORLD CUP 1st DAY

    In a fantastic sunshine day in Kitzbühel the 16th edition of the 2018 Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup opened the doors and the tournament started with an enthusiastic public around the field.

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