The Principality of Monaco has long attracted those with a penchant for sporting excitement, hosting an action-packed sporting calendar that boasts illustrious events of historic prestige. From F1 racing drivers to internationally acclaimed tennis stars, many sporting greats choose to live and train in Monaco and are attracted by the prospect of a Mediterranean lifestyle and a spectacular sporting infrastructure. It seems that the glamour of the region is fuelled by its sporting activity. We spoke to Laurent Locchi – a Property Negotiator at Miells & Partners, a sports enthusiast, and a resident of Monaco – to find out which sporting events are most eagerly anticipated in the Principality.
The Rolex Masters
With such a glitzy name, the Rolex Masters is one sporting event that is right at home amidst the renowned glamour of Monaco. Having celebrated its 100th birthday back in 2006, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is the first of three ATP World Tour Masters that is held on clay courts. It is a renowned favourite of both fans and players alike. Taking place at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, the event welcomes many champions from across the world – most notably Rafael Nadal, the winner of a record eight successive titles.
Laurent says: “It might not offer the Pimms and lemonade of Wimbledon, but sunshine and cocktails more than make up for it.”
The Monte Carlo Rally
Officially dubbed the ‘Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo’ but commonly referred to as the Monte Carlo Rally, this high-octane race is an annual event that is organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco. The rally leaves Monaco’s iconic casino each January, before snaking through the Alps and culminating in the Principality’s Port Hercules. Devised by Prince Albert I back in 1911, the event has long been a means of demonstrating the grandeur and innovation of the automobile world.
Laurent says: “Expect drama, excitement, and adrenaline-inducing action.”
AS Monaco Football Club
Commonly known as AS Monaco, this Monegasque football club is one of the most well-known in the world. Founded in 1924, the club competes in the equivalent of the UK’s premiership – Ligue 1 in France. The club’s home is in the Stade Louis II in Fontvieille, Monaco – a standout stadium that’s certainly worth a visit. Each week, the Principality of Monaco attracts football enthusiasts from across France, each of whom leaves with widened eyes and a satiating dose of sporting fun. One of the most successful clubs in France (it competes in the French league even though it is based in the Principality), the team has won eight league titles in its time, plus five Coupe de France trophies.
Laurent says: “One might say the club’s silverware brings even more glamour to Monaco.”
Monte Carlo International Show Jumping
Home to one of the most difficult show jumping courses in the world, this international equestrian event has long attracted the world’s top-ranking riders. Occupying the pride of place in Monaco’s Port Hercules, the arena is set in a scenic spot and makes for a memorable experience. The defining feature of the unique course is that it is very short, extremely narrow, and filled with all sorts of tricky twists and turns. All riders must possess a high level of agility and technique to succeed, not to mention a high level of skill from the horse itself.
Laurent says: “This show is exceptionally exciting to watch, for both horseriding enthusiasts and those with no experience.”
The Monaco Formula One
Last but far from least is the famous Monaco Grand Prix – the most intriguing, prestigious and challenging course for the majority of racing drivers. But what is required to win? Well, precision driving, technical excellence, and a large dose of bravery are all said to be requirements of any driver attempting this difficult course. Experts say that the Monaco circuit leaves no margin for error, more so than any other Formula One track in the circuit. Look out for the Tunnel Larvotto – one of the few straight sections of the track and arguably the most iconic sights in Formula One racing. Monaco has been a regular fixture of the Grand Prix circuit since 1955, with very few changes made to the circuit over the years.
Laurent says: “If you’re into events such as these and if you’re not, don’t miss out – the Monaco Grand Prix is a Principality-altering event that sparks parties, events, and celebration.”