It has already been well established that Australia is a sports mad nation in previous posts, but the nature of the biggest events on the 2017 national sports calendar may come as a surprise. Here is a list of the top 6 annual sporting events in Australia:
AFL Grand Final
Australian Rules Football (AFL) is a religion in Victoria, the sport’s traditional base, and the grand final is the Australian equivalent of the Superbowl in hype and buildup. There are parades, festive events and endless media coverage, while on the day itself the entire country stops to watch no matter who is playing.
The Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is the pinnacle of the Spring Carnival racing season. It is known as the ‘race that stops a nation’ because the whole nation grinds to a halt at approximately 4 pm on the first Tuesday of November to watch the horse race. Office workers stop, bar and pubs fill up and 120,000 plus people, wearing extravagant outfits arrive at the track to follow horses they may have known little about until moments earlier.
The Australian Open
One of the four major international tennis tournaments, the Australian Open is held towards the end of every January at Melbourne Park. It has the highest attendance after the US Open and hosts a wide variety of championships for men, women and youth. A great escape from the sweltering Melbourne summer.
Melbourne Formula One
On an international level, the Formula One is arguably the biggest event to come to Australia annually. Motor sport is popular in Australia and the F1 is closely followed especially when Australians like Daniel Ricciardo or formerly, Mark Webber are racing.
The Sydney to Hobart
Every Boxing Day Australians have their eyes on the ocean as the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race gets under way. It is an offshore sprint that attracts huge media attention with top boats, like three time winner Wild Oats, almost household names. It can be a grueling race in rough seas or a bolt to the finish line in under a day and a half for the winners.
Australia is a nation known for cricket, Australian Rules Football and rugby, but as this list proves, the country’s biggest sports events are actually quite varied and 2017 is expected to be full of exciting competitive events and close races.