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Sidecar Speedway is one of the most adrenalin fueled sports you can ever imagine. We ventured up to the Victoria and New South Wales border town of Mildura, where apparently 80% of Victoria’s grapes hale from. Mildura is famous for the aforementioned grapes, the River Murray and speedway, be it 2, 3 and 4 wheels. The superstars of world speedway have graced the dirt track of Olympic Park at one time or another and if there is one town that lives and breathes speedway racing it is Mildura. They are a different breed; the people that take part in sidecar racing. The swingers that crawl all over the back and the side of the bike whilst doing upwards of 130km/h, moving their weight around so that the bike doesn’t career off into the walls that surround the track – quite tricky considering the bikes are generally out of control throughout. Crashes are plentiful; banging bodywork is a given and excitement is guaranteed. #sidecarspeedway #mildura #victoria #australia #crash #sidecars #speedway #motorbikes #dirttrack #olympicpark
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is regarded as one of the most prestigious offshore yacht races in the world. It has been contested annually since 1945 and attracts some of the best boats and crews from across the globe. The race starts its 630 nautical mile (1170 kms) journey on Boxing Day from Sydney Harbour into the Tasman sea and south to Hobart in Tasmania. The finish is sailed up the Derwent River into the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. The race record is 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes set in 2012. It’s not all plain sailing however (hahaha!) as the race was marred with tragedy in 1998 when a freak storm hit the fleet; 5 boats sank and 6 sailors died and only just over a third of the boats that entered actually finished the race.
It’s the 20th December in the middle of Western Europe and its 12 degrees. El Nino in full effect. Cyclocross is basically cross country cycling on a variety of terrains on a closed course. There are areas where it is only just possible to ride, some areas where it is difficult to ride and some where you have no hope of surviving so you throw the bike over your shoulder and run with it instead. It is Belgium’s National Sport and it was no surprise when 20,000 locals turned out to watch the institution that is the last World Cup race before Christmas.
Have you heard of high jumping for horses? One of the highlights of The Olympia Horse of the Year Show is the Puissance, where competitors compete in a knock-out format to keep jumping higher and higher over the wall. If you knock a brick off though, you’re out of there. #puissance #londonolympia #horseoftheyearshow #olympia #london #england
Padel is basically a cross between tennis and squash, played with a tennis ball but with hard, spongey bats. It is huge in Spain and Latin America. We went to the end of season Masters Finals where the top 8 doubles teams in the world faced off to become “World Champion”.
Quite amazing to watch. The court itself has gates at the centre of the court either end of the net, and players can leave the court to play the ball if the situation arises. The game itself is not a matter of power. In fact, it is more about finesse and placement than anything else. Serves are underarm and the the pace is taken off the ball regularly in order to create opportunities for winners. #padel #padelmasters #madrid #spain #estrelladamm #tennis #wpt #worldpadeltour
We were staying in Madrid, some 350 kilometres away. We zoomed down to Valencia and got into the small outlying suburb of Massamagrell; or so we thought. Our GPS had taken us to the address where the Trinquet was supposed to be. There was a school and not much else, so we explored the town a little more. We eventually found Calle Trinquet, where a court was and wandered in through the huge metal gate. A couple of people were inside ready to play but no crowd. When they finally realised we wanted to see a match, they directed us to the town a couple of kilometres away. Our GPS had taken us to Massalfassar instead!!!
Finding the trinquet in Massamagrell was no mean feat either. Even though we kind of knew where it was supposed to be, there was no markings on the building or the door to get in. We drove around the small town for 30 minutes. We went to the school, the public frontons, the police station, a junior pilota club and then finally found the elusive door!!
Pilota is a traditional sport played mainly in the Valencia region. Unless you see it for yourself you won’t believe what you are seeing. Spectators sit on the steps on the court and are IN PLAY. Others sit on the court under the net and are also in play! It is truly unique and well worth seeking out if you are ever in the area. #pilotavaleciennes #valencianpilota #trinquet #fronton #pelota #valencia #spain #pucholII #raspall