Australian events are always well attended when it comes to sport. For such a small country in terms of population, we have an incredible passion for sport providing Australian world champions in many different events, not just a select few, as is the case with other nations of similar size.
This love of sport has seen Australia become home to many of the world’s major sporting events with the Melbourne Cup Australia’s most famous horserace now an internationally acclaimed feature race worth more than $5 million in prizemoney.
The Melbourne Spring Carnival ranks right up there with the Breeders Cup race day in America, the richest race meeting in the world the Dubai World Cup in March and the Royal Ascot meeting and Glorious Goodwood race day in England.
Melbourne is home to many great sporting events with the year in sport kicking off with the Australian Grand Prix held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park where it has been run and won since 1996.
The Australian Grand Prix is traditionally the first race of the Grand Prix season.
The Indy Car race on the Gold Coast is held in October with champ cars and Australia’s V8 Supercars scorching around the city streets at one of Australia’s premier beach holiday destinations.
The Australian Open is held at Melbourne Park in January each year and is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis titles to be decided. This tournament was first played in 1905 as the Australian Championships on the grass courts of Kooyong.
The tournament moved to the Melbourne Park in 1988 to be played on a new rebound ace hardcourt surface. This tournament continues to produce worthy champions with a long and distinguished list of champions, the majority former world number 1’s all having won the title downunder.
The last Australian to win the Australian Open was Mark Edmondson in 1975 when he defeated fellow Aussie John Newcombe.
There is no doubt that Melbourne is the sporting capital of the Southern Hemisphere and AFL Grand Final Day is a sight to behold for all sporting fans with 100,000 spectators heading to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for that one day in September.
Melbourne is an extraordinary city when a major sporting event takes place. The locals just come out to watch no matter what the sport with record crowds at the coliseum a regular occurrence. Nothing much has changed over time with record books showing 90,000 attended a cricket match in 1961 between Australia and the West Indies.
More than 120,000 attended an AFL Football match in 1970 between two traditional powerhuse clubs of the competition in Carlton and Collingwood. Even Rugby Union, which the majority of Victorians know very little about in terms of rules, managed to attract 87,000 at The G.
The Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, also called the ‘Bluewater Classic’, starts in Sydney on Boxing Day.
The Red Bull Air Race World Series in Perth, Western Australia sees competitors navigating an obstacle course in the sky as quickly as possible. Pilots race the clock completing tight turns through a slalom course in the sky.