As Spring begins, the chaps at Savvy Towers have begun to think about all things sporting. Although association football remains in full swing, we like to look forward to more gentlemanly gatherings at which a chap can be assured that he isn’t over exposed to man-made fibres and fizzy lager. We suggest a selection of sporting occasions where a chap can enjoy time honoured traditions and the, ahem, hospitality available. Indeed, be sure to follow our nutritional tips to ensure peak spectator performance!
During mid March the Wimbledon or Wembley of racing will come to Cheltenham. According to Cheltenham aficionado Chris Flavell, “The Festival at Cheltenham is the shining jewel in Jump racing's crown. It is four days of magic, madness and magnificence, played out on a stage framed by the breathtakingly beautiful vista of the Cotswold Hills.” Cheltenham features the best horses, jockeys and trainers playing to an audience of 220,000, all of who are determined to have a jolly good time. The Festival is one of those rare events that exude pleasure, passion and fun in equal measure.
Following a suitably late night of strategic planning (studying the card) and carbs-loading (Guinness and Single Malt Whisky), fine-tune your alertness with a 'Full-English' before heading off to the course. After the racing, a chap at the peak of his performance may go on to test his skill at 3-card brag against wily stable lads. Wrap yourself up in a smart covert coat to keep out the March weather.
1st Day of The Test Match
Mr. Tiernan will happily while away days and days being absorbed in the purest form of the game as well as indulging in afternoon tea, the Times crossword, and a small pocket radio for Test Match Special commentary from Blowers and Boycs. Chaps who are less committed, or more pressed for time, should still not miss the first day of the Test.
This year, a chap might want to wear a stout worsted or tweed to brave the spring chill for 'The Lions' or wait to don navy blazer, cotton flannels and panama hat for 'The Men In Blue' in July. Regular quaffs of real ale (vary level of chilling according to climatic conditions) should be taken on board to aid hydration. Coronation Chicken for lunch, please.
Goodwood Festival of Speed & the Goodwood Revival
26 June sees petrol head nirvana descend to the West Sussex countryside for the Goodwood Festival of Speed which is the largest motoring garden party in the world – a unique summer weekend that brings together an impossibly heady mix of cars, stars and motor sport ‘royalty’ to create the largest car culture event in the world, including Formula One drivers. Held in the immaculate grounds of Goodwood House, this annual hill-climb event is a true celebration of motor sport and all things automotive.
If a chap wishes to attend a more nostalgic homage to the motor car, the Goodwood Revival, held every September, really is a magical step back in time and gives a chap the unique chance to revel in the glamour and allure of motor racing in the romantic time capsule of the golden era of motor racing at one of the world’s most authentic circuits. The Revival is the world’s most popular historic motor race meeting and the only event of its kind to be staged entirely in the nostalgic time capsule of the 1940s, 50s and 60s that relives the glory days of Goodwood Motor Circuit. Hip flask considered essential, and a chap really ought to look 'vintage' sharp. See our Goodwood Revival Style Guide
Henley Royal Regatta
Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing event held every year on the River Thames since 1839. The Royal Regatta is sometimes referred to as Henley Regatta, its original name pre-dating Royal patronage. The regatta lasts for 5 days (Wednesday to Sunday) over the first weekend in July. Races are head-to-head knock out competitions, raced over a course of 1 mile, 550 yards (2,112 m). The regatta regularly attracts international crews to race. The most prestigious event at the regatta is the Grand Challenge Cup for Men's Eights, which has been awarded since the regatta was first staged.
A chance for a little messing around (in) boats in a lovely part of England. One should plan to graze exclusively on strawberries and Pimms!
Oldest of the four major golf championships and was first played in 1860. The Open can be held in England or Scotland, but a good single malt is always appropriate. We suggest that chaps do not adopt the more garish attire favoured by John Daly and instead opt for the more sober plus-fours and natty jumper. Fore!
250 years on the social calendar makes Royal Ascot a grand institution. This year, 17-21 June will see traditions upheld, pageantry galore and one of the most beautiful racecourses in the country will have the best horses racing for a total of £4m in prize money. Dress codes depend upon the enclosure but those heading for the Royal Enclosure should pick out morning dress.
To maintain sartorial standards, course stewards are dispatched to pick out miscreants who don’t quite come up to scratch. We trust that Savvy Chaps would never find themselves in such a pickle! Nutritional preparation is also required; we recommend that a chap's (and chapesses') tolerance to champagne must be built up well in advance. See our guide to a 'Right Royal Ascot'
First played in 1877, the home of lawn tennis is celebrating the 127th Championships this year (there were some rather unavoidable interruptions due to two world wars). Despite the recent influx of grunting Eastern European lady players, things are still done properly here. For those not fortunate to have tickets, one can don a panama hat and cheer from Murray mound!
Nutritionally, this is a particularly well balanced sporting event; strawberries and cream, Pimms or Champagne, cucumber sandwiches.
For those of a nautical stripe, the yachting at Cowes is an exciting way to spend a week. The highlight of the week is the Round the Island race, 50 nautical miles for an international field of yachting chaps. A chap should be sure to wear a smart blazer and flannels or a lounge suit and carry a Pimms at all times (only taking a break to enjoy the occasional ice cream cone).
Whilst London was caught up with a large gathering of athletes in July 2012, we were looking forward to the altogether more, ahem, fey Olympics where chaps compete in events such as the hop, skip and G&T and the Pipe Smoker’s Relay. The athletic ineptitude is equalled only by immaculately pressed trousers. A chap can even rely on emergency supplies of moustache wax being available on the day, such are the high standards of organisation. Hendricks Gin available on tap.
Five Nations Rugby
While a day out at Twickenham has started to resemble a stag weekend in Riga, you do have to admire the ability of these hulking rugger chaps to knock seven barrels out of each other while collectively tugging their forelocks to the 'wee man with the whistle'. Take a supply of warm bottles of Bombardier Ale with which to wash down an over-sized hog roast. "To 'The Regiment'!"