Santi Torres, Carlos Gracida battle together in Miami Beach Polo World Cup


By Alex Webbe

Men’s teams take to
the arena for the first day of high goals and high hopes

The ninth annual La
Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup
, the world’s largest and most
prestigious Beach Polo competition, began the first day of the men’s tournament
on Friday, as six teams took to the sands of South Beach for a day of gallant
showmanship in front of a capacity crowd.

A talented La Martina team (Guillermo Steta, Santi Torres and Carlos Gracida),
ran away from Merchant Hub (Tommy Kato, Jamie Morrison and Luis Escobar) in the
opening game, registering a 10-5 win.

Steta, the President of the Mexican Polo Federation, scored the first two goals
of the match with Polo Hall of Famer Carlos Gracida adding the third goal of
the chukker.  Luis Escobar got Merchant
Hub on the scoreboard, but they trailed 3-1 going into the second chukker.

Morrison scored on a goal from the field and teammate Escobar converted a
penalty shot for Merchant Hub in the second, but La Martina was up to the
challenge adding two goals from nineteen-year-old Santi Torres and another goal
from Carlos Gracida.  At the end of the
first half La Martina was on top of a 6-3 score.

two teams exchanged goals in the third period with Jamie Morrison and Luis
Escobar scoring single goals for Merchant Hub. 
Santi Torres added another goal from the field while Carlos Gracida
scored on a penalty shot.  The La Martina
lead held at three goals, 8-5 at the end of the third.

Torres scored two unanswered goals in the fourth for the 10-5 win.

was a high scorer for La Martina with five goals.  Gracida added three goals and Steta scored
twice.  Escobar scored three times for
Merchant Hub.  Orison was credited with
two goals in the loss.


shoot-down, drag-out battle between the team from The Raleigh and the team from
Small Luxury Hotels of the Worldâ„¢ resulted in a 14-13 win for The
Raleigh with Juan Monteverde and John Gobin combining efforts for nine goals.

goals were scored in a 3-3 first chukker with SLH getting a single goal from
Claudio Ochoa and a two-pointer from Kris Kampsen (two points is scored when
the ball is hit from midfield or beyond and travels between the goal
posts).  The Raleigh came up with single
goals from Bash Kazi, John Gobin and Juan Monteverde.

Raleigh gained traction in the second period with Bash Kazi adding a pair of
goals and John Gobin scoring on a two-point shot.  David Tafuri added a goal to The Raleigh
total as well.  MZ Kazi scored all three
goals for SLH in the second as The Raleigh move out in front, 8-6.

two teams traded goals in the third with Kris Kampsen scoring twice (one on a
penalty shot) and MZ Kazi scoring his fourth of the day.  The Raleigh got goals from John Gobin, Juan
Monteverde and David Tafuri, maintaining their two goal lead, 11-9.

made a concerted effort to unseat The Raleigh in the final chukker.  Carlitos Gracida scored once and Kris Kampsen
added two goals from the field and a two-pointer.  Juan Monteverde scored all three of The
Raleigh’s fourth chukker goals for the narrow 14-13 victory.

led The Raleigh attack with five goals. 
Gobin added four goals; Bash Kazi scored three times; and Tafuri was
credited with two goals for the win.  SLH
9-goaler, Kris Kampsen, scored seven times. 
MZ Kazi registered four goals and single goals were racked up by Ochoa
and Gracida in the loss.   


Grey Goose team (Tom Ravenel, Lance Vetter, Vincent Mesker and Guille
Usandizaga) rebounded from a 7-7 half-time score to beat The James Royal Palm
Hotel/Jet Blue team 19-14 in the final match of the day.

James Royal Palm Hotel/jet Blue team (Neku Atawodi, Oscar Mancini and Sebastian
Dawnay) took an early lead on three first chukker goals from Oscar Mancini and
a single goal from Sebastian Dawnay. 
Grey Goose responded with a pair of goals from Vincent Mesker (one on a
penalty conversion) and a single goal from Tom Ravenel.  At the end of the first chukker The James
Royal Palm Hotel/jet Blue team led, 4-3.

Goose bounced back in the second period with three goals from Guille Usandizaga
(one on a penalty shot) and another goal from Tom Ravenel.  Three penalty conversions from Oscar Mancini
had it deadlocked at 7-7 at the end of the first half of play.

Usandizaga put the game away himself in the third on the strength of six goals
(four on penalty shots).  Vincent Mesker
added two goals as Grey Goose moved in front by four goals, 15-11.  Oscar Mancini and Sebastian Dawnay added two
goals apiece (each had one goal from the field and one penalty conversion),

chukker action saw seven more goals go up on the scoreboard as The James Royal
Palm Hotel/jet Blue team fought valiantly trying to get back into the
game.  Three goals from Vincent Mesker
and a single goal from Guille Usandizaga gave Grey Goose an insurmountable 19
goals on the day while The James Royal Palm Hotel/jet Blue team manages a pair
of goals from Oscar Mancini and a single goal from Sebastian Dawnay in the
19-14 loss.

led all scoring with 11 goals. Mesker scored six times and Ravenel added two
goals in the win.  Oscar Mancini scored
10 times for The James Royal Palm Hotel/jet Blue team.  Dawnay added four goals in a losing effort.