St. Moritz, 16 January 2012
The ice covering Lake St. Moritz is too thin. For this reason, the St. Moritz Lake Commission has decided not to grant clearance for erection of the infrastructure on the surface of the lake. The risk of the ice collapsing is too great. For the first time in the tournament’s 28-year history, the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow has had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions.
After various load-bearing-capacity tests on the iced-over surface of Lake St. Moritz, the safety experts reached the conclusion today that, for safety reasons, they cannot grant clearance for erection of the necessary tournament infrastructure on the surface of the lake. The regulations on the use of the surface ice are strict: the ice across the whole lake must be no thinner than 20 centimetres. Each square metre must be able to bear up to 350 kilograms. If these requirements are not met, no structures can be erected on the lake. “We were hoping for a last-minute change in the weather so that a few nights at sub-zero temperatures could freeze the lake sufficiently. Unfortunately Mother Nature has let us down,” comments Bernhard Pöllinger, Head of Sports & Infrastructure at St. Moritz Polo Corporation. For the first time in the tournament’s 28-year history, the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and its programme of related events have had to be cancelled. This comes as a big disappointment to the organisers, sponsors, partners and players, as many thousands of working hours have already been devoted to the World Cup. “At this point, I would like to thank our sponsors Cartier, Deutsche Bank/Sal. Oppenheim, Ralph Lauren and BMW for their great and inspiring partnership,” states St. Moritz Polo Corporation’s CEO, Urs E. Schwarzenbach.
No adequate alternative to the lake World Cup preparations had been in full swing up to today. Everything was perfectly on schedule, and all involved were ready to start erecting the tents on the surface of the lake. As it became clear that the lake was freezing over more slowly than in other years, the event organisers explored various alternatives to the lake. However, there was no convincing Plan B. “Lake St. Moritz as a venue is unique in the world, and it is not possible to find an adequate substitute in such a short time,” explains Urs E. Schwarzenbach.