Summer sporting events in Virgin Atlantic destinations

Tennis balls on grass court with sunlight © Shutterstock : kireewong foto

Tennis balls on grass court with sunlight © Shutterstock : kireewong foto

Whether you’re a sports-crazy fan or a committed couch potato, there’s no greater thrill than cheering on your team or player from the sidelines instead of on the TV. Here’s where to catch some of 2018’s best sporting events in our destinations this summer.

Dubai

Traditional racing dhows in Dubai © Shutterstock

Traditional racing dhows in Dubai © Shutterstock

If you’re in Dubai this weekend, you’re just in time to catch the Al Gaffal Long Distance Race, the highlight of the emirate’s marine sports season. The traditional dhow racing event kicks off at Sir Bu Nair Island and finishes at the Burj Al Arab, with the all-Emirati crews competing for multi-million dirham prizes. Watch the stirring sight of hundreds of dhows draw towards the finish line from the Burj al Arab’s nearby beaches.

Date: 12th May 2018, approx 5.30am – midday

New York

Golfer hits sweeping golf course in the summer © Shutterstock : TORWAISTUDIO

Golfer hits sweeping golf course in the summer © Shutterstock / TORWAISTUDIO

The 118th U.S Open Championship will take place at the links-style Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in the Hamptons on Long Island in mid-June. It’s the fifth time of hosting for the historic club, which claims to have the oldest golf clubhouse in the USA. While the Open still plays to a par of 70, according to Golfweek, the course at Shinnecock has been lengthened by some 408 metres, with the longest changes (69 metres) coming at the challenging 14th and 15th holes. Cheer on your favourite player by catching one of the multiple extra Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) trains from New York City, delivering you from door-to-door.

Date: 14th – 17th June 2018

London

Aerial view of Wimbledon Centre Court © Shutterstock : Neil Mitchell

Aerial view of Wimbledon Centre Court © Shutterstock / Neil Mitchell

It’s a special year for the world’s most famous tennis championship, as the All England Lawn Tennis Club in southwest London celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2018. The club – which hosts the Wimbledon Championships – has seen a flurry of new development work over recent months, including the opening of a new bi-level public plaza on the former Court 19 known as the “Walled Garden”. While the always-over subscribed public ballot took place earlier this year, Wimbledon is one of only a handful of major UK sporting events where you can still queue up to buy premium tickets on the day, with limited tickets available for Centre Court, Court no. 1 and Court no. 2 (excluding the last four days), as well as passes for the outside courts.

Date: 2nd – 15th July 2018

San Francisco

Rugby scrum © Shutterstock : mitzy

Rugby scrum © Shutterstock / mitzy

This summer the Rugby World Cup Sevens will take place at AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the San Francisco Giants. It’s the first time the event has been held in the United States, and with several America’s Cups, World Series and Super Bowls under its belt, the City by the Bay is the perfect host destination. You can start planning your rugby-fuelled trip to San Francisco now, as single-day tickets have just gone on sale this week.

Date: 20th – 22nd July 2018

Antigua and St Lucia

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua © Shutterstock : IndustryandTravel

Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua © Shutterstock / IndustryandTravel

Ok, so the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 is happening in November so it’s not technically summer from where we stand – but it will undoubtedly be summery in the Caribbean. Taking place during the international cricket season, the sixth edition of the women’s event will see the matches spread across three West Indies venues – the Guyana National Stadium, the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, which will host the two semi-finals and the final. With the Windies looking to defend their title from last year, the tournament looks set to be a festive affair and a great excuse to catch some winter sun.

Date: 9th – 24th November 2018

About Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.
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