One standoff and two pretty clear results shaped the first day of event at the Valartis Bank Snow Polo World Cup in Kitzbühel. Obviously all teams have the same thing in mind: winning this World Cup. Under the perfect sunshine on the Tyrolean Alps the teams were competing for every single ball – including some acrobatic extras. We expect to see powerful polo in the following two days. Yet still, no favourite team can clearly be predicted for the finals. There can be surprises in this tournament, where the weather will also play a major role.
In the first match between team Bernd Gruber and KCC/Transgourmet, the ladies Steffi von Pock and Eva Brühl, together with Adrian Laplacette could expand their advantage slightly. Only a few seconds before the final bell Mathias Maíquez and his his team KCC/Transgourmet with Henk and his son Maurice van Druten scored a sensational shot, taking the lead. During the final bell Adrian Laplacette took the ball and evened the score to a well-deserved 5:5.
With a four goal difference, team DWB Holding with Sebastian Schneberger, Philip de Groot and Valentin Novillo Astrada won the match against team Audi with Estelle Wagner from Luxemburg, Patrick Maleitzke and Tatu Gomez Romero. At the beginning of the third chukka both teams were still fighting head-to-head. Then DWB Holding extended its advantage dramatically. The Argentinean Valentin Novillo Astrada (+6) showed his great skills and caused a great moment of excitement in the audience when he juggled with the ball in an acrobatic way.
With a clear result of 9:4,5 team Tom Tailor and Valartis Bank disbanded. Uwe Schröder and Heinrich Dumrath from Hamburg together with Gastón Maíquez from Argentina showed their dominance over team Valartis Bank with Stefan Proietti, Matthias Vial and Tito Gaudenzi. Proietti played although his hand was injured beforehand. To back him up and as a possible substitute, the Swiss player Andreas Bihrer attended the tournament. Bihrer is member of the Bayerischer Polo Club and plays often in Rome and St. Tropez.
Tomorrow the first match at the Münichauer Wiese kicks off at 11 a.m. as scheduled. The fixture was decided by a draw held on Thursday. The results of Friday and Saturday will lead to the definition of the finalists of Sunday.
Team Bernd Gruber vs. KCC Transgourmet 5 : 5
Audi vs. DWB Holding 7 : 11
Tom Tailor vs. Valartis Bank 9 : 4,5
Saturday, 17 January
KCC Transgourmet : Valartis Bank
AUDI : Bernd Gruber