The London Olympics may be over, but the legacy lives on with a cracking British summer of sport lined up for 2013;
18 – 22 June 2013 – Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse, Surrey
Considered by many as the premier flat race on the British horse racing calendar, Royal Ascot is steeped in tradition and pageantry. Gentlemen dress in top hats and tails, champagne flows and the Queen attends in her carriage. The third day is Ladies Day and also Group 1 Gold Cup day where horse race over a momentous 2 miles and 4 furlongs. The final day hosts the most important sprint race on earth; the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. This is a five day spectacular that promises great entertainment.
21 – 23 June 2013 – Samsung World Cup Rowing 2013, Eton Dorney, Berkshire
First held in 1997, the World Rowing Cup is this year held at Eton Dorney which was made famous by last year’s Olympic Games. The Cup features 3 regattas; Sydney (22-24 March), Eton Dorney (21-23 June) and Switzerland (12-14 July) where a winner is the declared.
23 June 2013 – ICC Champions Trophy Final, Edgbaston
This year England and Wales host the cricket ICC Champions Trophy at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham. This one day international tournament is the second most important date on the cricketing calendar, second only to the Cricket World Cup, which is next held in 2015.
24 June – 7 July 2013 – Wimbledon Tennis Championships, London SW19
All eyes are on Andy Murray at Wimbledon as he makes his first appearance following his awesome Grand Slam and Olympic wins. Wimbledon remains the greatest tennis tournament in the world and the only major tournament to be played on grass. Over the two weeks, the traditional tournament will be attended by various members of the royal family. And Murray will be hoping to become the first Men’s Singles Winner since Fred Perry in 1936. Watch the French Open in Paris from 26 May – 9 June as a precursor to Wimbledon.
30 June 2013 – British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Northants
Formula 1 has been hosted in the UK since 1926 and this year Silverstone race track will once again host the international gathering. The most successful British driver at the British Grand Prix was Jim Clark, who won a total of 5 times (joint holder with French driver Alain Prost). Brit drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will be hosting to emulate his success.
10 July 2013 – 25 August 2013 – The Ashes, Various Locations
The Ashes cricket series returns to England for the first time since 2009. A total of 5 Ashes series will be played at Trent Bridge (10-14 July), Lords (18-22 July), Old Trafford (1-5 Aug), Emirates Durham ICG (9-13 Aug) and the Oval (Wed 21-25 August).
18 – 21 July 2013 – British Open Championship 2013, Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
The Open Championship, aka the British Golfing Open, is held in Scotland for 2013. Players will tackle a golf course of 71 par and a length of 7,245 yards. The British Open was first held in 1860 and all eyes will be on Ernie Els who won his second Open Championship last year and Tiger Woods, who has won 3 Open Championships.
30 November 2013 – Rugby League World Cup Final, Old Trafford, Manchester
This year a total of 14 teams will compete in the Rugby league World Cup, culminating in the final on 30 November in Manchester. The last tournament was held in 2008 in Australia where New Zealand won for the first time. To date, the cup has been played 13 times with Australia winning 9, Great Britain winning 3 and New Zealand winning once. Australia, Cook Islands, England, Fiji, France, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga, USA and Wales will all compete. This is the first year since 1995 that the Great Britain teams have been separated into individual countries.
11 May 2013 – FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London
The fantastic summer of sports gets underway on Saturday 11th May at 4.15pm (UK time) as Manchester City take on Wigan Athletic in the hotly anticipated football FA Cup Final. With Wembley Stadium in London hosting, Man City go into the tournament as clear favourites, this being their tenth FA Cup Final. With 5 wins already under their belt in 1904, 1934, 1956, 1969, 2011, will it be 6th time lucky? Wigan are the underdogs and this is their first FA Cup Final in their 81 year history.
25 May 2013 – UEFA Champions League Final, Wembley Stadium, London
Seventy seven of the finest European football teams have been whittled down to just 2 and will go head to head in the Champions League Final on Saturday 25 May. 2013 is a first, as 2 German clubs will play each other. Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are both in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich are the clear favourites and this will be their tenth European Cup Final, beaten in numbers of appearance only by Real Madrid who have played 12 finals and AC Milan who have competed 11 times. Bayern have so far won 4 times and this is their 3rd final in years although they did loose last year and in 2010. Bayern has plenty prove, as do Borussia Dortmund, who play in the Champions League Final for only the second time, although they did win their first outing in 1997.
31 May 2013 – Epsom Derby, Epsom Downs, Surrey
The Epsom Derby is a notable flat race of the British horse racing season and spans 12 days (May to September). Starting with Ladies Day on 31 May, the highlight is the main Epsom Derby race on 1 June. Horse racing has taken place on historic Epsom Downs since the 17th Century and the event has since evolved to become the prestigious Derby Festival. Riders in this year’s main derby race will ride over a distance of 1m 4f 10y (2,423 m). Last year’s purse was 1.325 million.