By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
Eighth Annual Miami Beach Polo World Cup
The sport of kings returned to South Beach for the eighth consecutive year featuring top polo players from around the globe for the Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup which took place from Thursday, April 26through Sunday, April 29 featuring eight women’s teams in a one-day series of round-robin championship matches and a three-day men’s tournament.
Thousands of polo enthusiasts enjoyed a series of lifestyle daytime and evening VIP events such as fashion shows by La Martina and Blank Silk, shopping, cocktails and gourmet food by Kung Fu Sushi in the Catalina Hotel and Kone Sushi- which made for lots of revelry in between and long after the chukkers.
Despite wind and soggy conditions, the teams fought and frolicked in the sand until Mother Nature forced the matches to come to an abrupt halt when the rain and the winds off of the Atlantic Ocean were too much for the Miami Beach polo arena, forcing the cancellation of the final three matches of the tournament on Sunday, April 29.
“It’s not unprecedented,” said Miami Beach Director of Polo, Alex Webbe. “Major tournaments have been rained out in the past, and will get rained out in the future. But the celebrations surrounding the event continue.” Webbe explained from the festivities of Sunday’s post-event soiree at The Raleigh hotel on Miami Beach.
This year the HEYS Luggage team took top honors in the elite women’s division scoring a hard-fought 3-1 win over Lufthansa Private Jet with team captain Cecelia Cochran garnering MVP honors. Bulgari managed a 1-0 defensive victory at the expense of the Ciroc team.
Maserati, The Raleigh and Yellow Cab all scored wins during the matches on Friday and Saturday and were looking forward to finding out who would take home the World Cup when Mother Nature intervened. The men’s competition found three teams tied with 2-0 records following the first two days of play.
“In the eight years we have been staging the competition, this year’s event was the most talked-about.” said Bruce Orosz, founder of The Polo Life. “The feedback from our sponsors, the players and spectators has been tremendous and the weather in no way dampened anyone’s spirits over the three days of play.”
“The sport of Polo and Maserati share the qualities of passion, excitement and elegance,” commented Andrea Soriani, Director of Marketing and Communications, Maserati North America. “Miami Beach Polo exceeded our expectations in terms of the ardent engagement of the community, not to mention the vast participation from the South American audience. This event is truly unique.”
The weekend revelry included a private event, hosted by Maserati and Bulgari, to present the Octo Maserati timepiece at the Setai hotel, on Friday, April 26, as well as an exclusive fashion show by Meghan Walsh, daughter of John Walsh, to showcase her “Blank Silk” line of Indian-inspired daytime and eveningwear at the Perry on Saturday, April 28. Big Sisters of Greater Miami and The Voss Foundation were the tournament’s official charity organization, receiving a portion of funds raised through ticket sales from the event.
Ocean House Makes a Splashy Debut
Last Wednesday, Ocean House, Miami Beach’s newest private beachfront residence in the South of Fifth neighborhood, made its debut with an exclusive housewarming celebration where more than 450 South Florida influencers joined owner, iStar Residential, for a night of fanfare, featuring simultaneous guest experiences that showcased the sophisticated Ocean House lifestyle.
Following a turquoise carpet arrival, a fleet of butlers welcomed guests with champagne in the grand salon while X Factor contestant, Brendan O’Hara played the white baby grand piano. Following a turquoise carpet arrival, a fleet of butlers welcomed guests with champagne in the grand salon. With an event legend in hand, guests embarked on a tour of Ocean House, in which they learned tricks from a pool shark in the billiards room, watched classic films in the screening room, posed for a sketch artist in the living room, relaxed with mini-treatments in the spa and noshed on hors d’oeuvres created especially to complement each experience. After exploring Ocean House’s warm and refined environments, guests settled into plush cabanas on the beachside pool deck, where they enjoyed beats by DJ Irie and unwound with Caribbean-inspired fare from the enormous grill and cocktails courtesy of Stoli Elit, Glenfiddich and the Balvenie.
Guests were wowed when they visited the Artefacto/Steven G-designed model homes – two of Ocean House’s 18 sprawling beachfront residences – where high-end, island-inspired fashion presentations captured Ocean House’s resort-like vibe. Models showcasing the latest runway looks, by Bika and Peixoto as styled by Katharine Rubino of Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, along with champagne and a Milagro Tequila bar, and delicious bites by Bianca and Philippe Chow Miami made added to the experience as guests admired the sleek, custom-made designs of the 4,654-square-foot Artefacto residence.
VIP guests in attendance included iStar Financial’s Anthony Burns, George Helmstetter and Niels Sorensen; Cervera Real Estate’s Alicia Cervera Lamadrid and Sildy Cervera; The Y Group’s John Yanopoulos; Ocean House designer Alison Antrobus; Artefacto’s Paulo Bacchi; designer Steven G; restaurateur and Ocean House resident Myles Chefetz; UBS Financial Services’ Wyatt Larson; THE COLLECTION’s Ken Gorin; Comras Company’s Michael Comras; SK Captial’s Barry Siadat; H&H Development’s Harvey Hernandez; interior designer Sam Robin; jewelry designer Daniela Swaebe; Fortune International Realty’s Edgardo Defortuna and wife Ana Cristina; Emmy Award-winning producer Lisa Petrillo; Flagler Group’s Ricardo Dunin, and many more.
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