Golf, tennis, yachting complement awards

Ballesteros will lead landlubbers

Stars of sport and screen will have a chance to rub competitive shoulders and test their mettle on the high seas and golfing fairways as part of this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards in Monte Carlo on May 20-23.

Spanish maestro Seve Ballesteros will lead the landlubbers for the second Laureus Golf Challenge at the picturesque Monte-Carlo Golf Club at Mont Agel, perched high in the hills above Monaco.

Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill, the celebrity golf day is one of several high-profile events leading up to the Laureus World Sports Awards gala ceremony May 22. It will be played over the magnificent par-71 course in a stableford format with a shotgun start.

In 2000, Sergio Garcia hosted the competition, which featured a number of stars and sporting legends including golf enthusiasts Sly Stallone, Samuel L. Jackson, David Hasselhoff, boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard and former swimming multiple Olympic gold medal winner Mark Spitz.

Celebrities wishing to test their sea legs, meanwhile, will have ample opportunity to do so at the two-day Laureus Regatta.

Paul Cayard, Round the World champion Grant Dalton, J.J. Isler, Tommaso Chieffi and British Olympic gold medalist yachtsman Ben Ainslie are among eight world-renowned match racing skippers who will take part in the regatta, leading professional crews, and being helped by World Sports Academy members and Hollywood royalty, who will be onboard as guests.

Last year, Samuel L Jackson and Hasselhoff competed alongside HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, sports academy members and sports stars such as Peter Blake, Spitz, Edwin Moses, Nadia Comaneci as well as Venus and Serena Williams.

Explains Paul Cayard, the first American winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race (1998):

“The Laureus Regatta is bringing together the top people not only in yachting, but in all of sport, with top-of-the-line sponsors, in the most enchanting harbor on the whole of the Med. Let’s just say I am looking forward to it.”

The regatta, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and Officine Panerai, will be held under the banner of the Yacht Club de Monaco. The event’s sailors will be competing alongside some of the world’s best-known sportsmen and -women during two days of match racing on prestigious Nautor Swan yachts.

Eight of the world’s top match racing skippers will compete in 30-minute contests in a round-robin format over the first day and a half. By late morning on day two, after up to 28 races (dependent on conditions), the top four helmsmen will battle it out for first prize.

Once the finals are complete, prize-giving and a press conference will be held at the Hotel le Meridien before all the participants and other celebrity guests move on to the Grimaldi Forum for the Laureus World Sports Awards Gala Evening.

The winning vessel will be presented with the Laureus Regatta Challenge Trophy. The winning crew members will each receive a Limited Edition Officine Panerai watch, while the triumphant match race skipper will receive a Mercedes-Benz C230 Sportcoupe.

The Laureus events will conclude with an informal tennis tournament and farewell brunch on May 23, the day after the Laureus World Sports Awards.