ENGADIN ST. MORITZ - White Turf St. Moritz: these famous international horse races take place on frozen Lake St. Moritz over the first three Sundays in February. The event was founded in 1907; the attractive programme also includes harness races.PHOTO: swiss-image.ch/Michael Mettler
Lake St. Moritz sits beside its namesake resort town in the Engadine valley of the Graubünden region, Switzerland. The highest summit in the Eastern Alps, Piz Bernina, is just a few kilometres south of the town.
Lake St. Moritz has a surface area of just 0.78 km², which dictates a smaller sailing area and encourages tight, close-proximity sailing at the St. Moritz Match Race. The BLU26 boats are the smallest on the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour and accommodate a 4-man crew.
Outside of sailing, the frozen lake also hosts sport in January and early February. Polo matches are held annually and, in contrast to traditional field polo, use larger and lighter red balls which are more easily visible in the snow.
Since 1907, horse races called "White Turf" have been held, attracting wealthy tourists to the area for the unique sporting spectacle. During these years, sports enthusiasts also invented the sport of skijoring in the region. In this type of race, thoroughbred horses compete with skiers in tow.
More traditional sports have also visited St. Moritz over the years, the first ice cricket tournament having taken place on the frozen lake in 1988. English cricketer David Gower featured in the 1990 event, parking his rental car on the ice overnight. He returned to find that it had broken through the ice and sunk.