It’s ten years since polo was first played on the Brijuni Islands near Pula. Even the Croatian President came to the final, and sponsors, players and the event organiser alike all hoped they had laid the foundation stone for a long tradition of polo on these islands. Unfortunately, completely the opposite happened. Bureaucratic confusion and the issue of the Brijuni Islands, which long served as the state residence of the former ruler of Yugoslavia, Josef Bros Tito, destroyed all sporting ambitions.
Now, Uwe Zimmermann, President of the Polo Club Ascona and long one of the visionaries of European polo, has discovered the captivating Adriatic coast of Istria for himself. The first beach polo tournament in Croatia will take place in mid-May 2016 in Rovinj. Four international teams will take part, including players from India, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Croatia and Argentina. Three players will play per team with a team handicap of 4-6 goals. The whole infrastructure, including the 70x45m polo arena, will be set up especially for the 3 days of the tournament. As team sponsors Adris, Heineken, Jamnica (Agrokor) and Tagheuer will present the venue.
“We are pleased to have support from our main sponsor, the ADRIS Group, as well as Tagheuer, Heineken Bier, La Martina, Hotel Lone and several others.” The polo tournament will take place in the arena directly on the beach in the wonderful city of Rovinj. “The backdrop is unique and perhaps even comparable to that of St. Tropez.” All players will stay at the five-star Hotel Lone and can look forward to a varied and exclusive fringe programme in addition to the polo. Uwe Zimmermann: “Rovinj, Istria and Croatia want to present themselves to a wide international public with this event. Polo is a common passion for a cosmopolitan audience that will surely discover a new favourite destination for itself here on the Adriatic coast.” Red Bull has hosted the “air race” in Rovinj for several years, so the launch of this arena polo event will provide yet another sporting and social highlight on one of the most beautiful coasts in Europe.
The international organisational team comprises partners from Croatia and Slovenia who have years of experience in the organisation of large and high-quality music events. The foundation of the first Croatian polo club is already in the preparation stages. Rovinj and its polo tournament has already set up partnerships with similar tournaments and polo clubs in Dubai, Brazil, Warnemünde, Basthorst and Ascona.